What is the Assumptions template?
Many product decisions and business strategies are based on assumptions unsupported by data or research. Whether you own a startup or enterprise company, you’re making assumptions (about your product, services, or operations) every day. Unfortunately, due to tight schedules or limited resources, testing your hypotheses might be challenging or even impossible.
Visualize your assumptions on a handy, ready-made template to discuss them with your Agile team. List them out individually, discuss and fine-tune them in small groups, and then decide about their “fate” in a bigger setting. Choose the top 10 assumptions you would like to test before deciding which ones of them if proven wrong will kill your business.
Mapping out and grouping the assumptions can help you mitigate risks, prioritize tests accordingly, and overcome uncertainties. Design the experiments based on the assumptions with the most votes and potential. Plan out an action plan for your tests and see if they help you grow or bring your business down.
What are the benefits of the Assumptions template?
Thanks to the Assumptions template, you can:
- Figure out numerous ideas about your product and challenge your current mindset to shift.
- Double-check if your thinking is true, especially when no evidence supports your beliefs.
- Find out that many opinions about your product will be right and many will be wrong.
- Learn to rely on facts and research, not on opinions.
- Identify areas for improvements in your product or solution before basing your product strategy on them.
How to use the Assumptions template in a few steps?
- Open the Assumptions template on a new board or add it to an already existing one.
- Invite your team to the board by sharing the board URL or sending an email invitation.
- Join the audio and video chat with your team members to see their faces on camera stream cards and talk to each other.
- Work individually first and write down ten assumptions on sticky notes that you must test with your team to make sure the business idea is good. Use one sticky note per assumption. Discuss all of the hypotheses with your team members once everyone is ready. You can also set up the Timer to ideate only within the designated timeframe.
- Divide your team members into small groups and ask the teams to drag and drop the ideas to the Wall of assumptions. Compare the ideas, fine-tune them, and remove the duplicates.
- Move to the next part of the exercise and present your top three to five assumptions in front of a big group. Eliminate duplicates if any appear. Start the Voting session with up to three votes per person to identify the best ideas.
- Prioritize assumptions from most voted to least voted with the entire group. Put sticky notes with the most votes at the top of the axis and those with the least votes at the bottom. Discuss.
- Scroll down to the Kill and No-Kill Assumptions section. Put your assumptions in the appropriate frame: Assumptions that won’t kill your business (if proven wrong, they will not cause your product or business to fail) and Assumptions that can kill your business (if proven wrong, they will cause your product or business to fail).
- Design the experiments with the Assumptions that won’t kill your business. State each assumption as a hypothesis that can be proved or disproved, write notes on how the test should look like, and what the expected outcome is.
Use this template