Challenge your assumptions before you build anything, otherwise you’ll burn money fast.
Include everyone you think will add value. We invite product, engineering and commercial thinkers to our sessions. You’ll need around 120 minutes of their time.
- Post-it notes 📝
- Sharpies and pens 🖊️
- A whiteboard 📈 (use or if you’re remote)
Step 1: Introduction (10 minutes) Your team must understand they need to dedicate two hours to this session; no phones or laptops are allowed. Ensure they’re present by starting the session with an icebreaker.
- Step 2: Assume That (30 minutes)—Ask everyone to write down all the things they assume to be true about the problem you’re trying to solve and the world around you.
- Step 3: This Failed Because (30 minutes) — Ask everyone to write down all the reasons they think the project could fail, even ones that may seem improbable
- Step 4: Cluster post-its (30 minutes)—One person chooses a note from their pile, reads it to the room, and sticks it on the whiteboard. If anyone in the team has a similar note, they stick it clustered next to that one.
The Final Step
Step 5: Review notes and groupings (30 mins) — Review each card, making sure it makes sense and is grouped appropriately. You should be able to summarize each group in a simple sentence.
Now that you’ve documented your view of the world (your assumptions), you should conduct some research to try and validate (or invalidate) that perspective. The output of these sessions should power your research plans, for example, you can use the assumptions to decide what types of research to conduct, and what questions to include in an interview guide.