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Harmful templates

Don't cut yourself on the nice looking template.

Bruno Pešec
Bruno Pešec
2 min read
Harmful templates

As Miro, Mural, and other similar products become more and more popular, it becomes easier and easier to copy existing templates. But if you don't know much about the thing you are copying, it might not end up well.

For example, I've stumbled upon a template on assumption mapping and experiment design that has a critical flaw, essentially rendering nearly all findings useless. This template outlines four steps:

  1. Brainstorming Assumptions
  2. Prioritizing Assumptions
  3. Crafting Experiments
  4. Crafting Hypotheses

Can you spot the erroneous thinking?

Hypotheses come before the experiments, not after. That is Experimentation 101.

Experiments are used to test hypotheses. If you determine how will you test before what will you test, then you have confounded your experiment design, and won't be able to trust your findings.

The proper order is:

  • Start by defining your learning goal.
  • Surface the assumptions.
  • Prioritise them if you wish.
  • Translate prioritised assumptions into hypotheses (one assumption can have multiple hypotheses attached to it).
  • Figure out which experiments do you want to do in order to test them.

I've written a detailed guide on how to design Lean Experiments that will create trustworthy and reusable knowledge:

Step-by-step guide for designing Lean Experiments
Designing sound experiments is critical to creating valid and reusable knowledge. This guide will help you achieve that.
Creating reusable knowledge: how to design effective experiments
Innovation teams can generate value in several ways, and creating reusable knowledge is one easy way to do so.
ExperimentationLean StartupInnovation

Bruno Pešec

I help business leaders innovate profitably at scale.


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