Rapid Experimentation

Create a plan to transition your ideas into prototypes you can try out, learn and evolve.

Rapid Experimentation is a hallmark for building out innovative solutions. The more quickly you can start to learn about your ideas, get them into tangible form, and test them - the sooner you and your team can iterate on your solutions based on real-world feedback. Do this together as a team after you've decided on a list of prioritized concepts you want to advance and explore.


Identify the Ideas to Test

 Work with your team and/or stakeholders to identify ideas you want to learn about. At this point, the ideas should be articulated as detailed concepts - where you have a sense for who it's for, what you're trying to accomplish, how that might be accomplished, what's involved, etc.


Align on What You Need to Learn

 Use the Rapid Experimentation Worksheet provided to build a learning plan. As a team, start the learning plan by determining the most important questions that are critical to the success of your concepts.


Determine Your Success Metrics

 Discuss what measures will help gauge success. What indicators would signal that you have been successful in your test? For example, what audience behaviors or attitudes would indicate your idea is worth moving forward? Then, determine how to measure the size or extent of these behaviors or attitudes, as needed.


Plan Your Tests and Prototypes

 As a team, figure out the simplest and leanest way to test out your concepts. Determine if prototypes or mock-ups are needed to support your tests. If so, think small and scrappy. Plan for tests and prototypes that are simple to execute (i.e., can be accomplished in days or weeks vs. months).


Check Your Assumptions

 As a team, discuss what assumptions or bias you might have about how you believe people will respond or interact with your prototype. These assumptions should guide your prototype plan.  Do you believe something will be easy to use, or interact well with another tool, or make something clearer?  Create rapid experiments to quickly test out whether it is true or not.


Determine Next Steps

 Establish next steps. Agree on a reasonable window of time for trying out these tests. Push your thinking in the beginning to see what you could test in 5 minutes with 5 dollars.  Discuss how the team will reconvene to share learnings from these tests.


Run Your Tests

 Build your prototypes and mock-ups as needed. Put your experiments out in the world. Capture your learnings and metrics in your template.


Assess and Repeat

 When your cycle of experiments conclude, reconvene as a team. Conduct a reflection and review what you learned as a team. Based on these learnings, discuss next steps (i.e., adopt, adapt, or abandon your prototyped ideas). Repeat and iterate the testing cycle above - until you've reached the desired level of understanding about whether your idea is desirable, feasible and viable.

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