Progress Board - Test and Validate Business Assumptions
This canvas allows you to capture any assumptions arising from your business and marketing strategy (e.g. while using the other strategy canvases) and to track your progress testing and validating these assumptions.
Why we like it
There are always assumptions arising during business and marketing strategy development. And it can be easy to lose track of what is valid data and what is an assumption that requires further investigation. The Progress Board is a simple way not just to record and track these assumptions, but to hold you to a process by which to confirm the validity.
How to use it
The Progress Board should be displayed somewhere visible to all team members working on it. Print it out on A1 or A2 and use sticky notes to capture and track your assumptions and experiments. You can also use the Google Slides template to do the same on a big screen.
STEP BY STEP
1. BUSINESS HYPOTHESES
For each assumption or uncertainty you have identified, rewrite it as a hypothesis and capture it in this first column.
2. TEST: BACKLOG
Design a test to (in)validate each of your hypotheses. Store them here in your backlog column until you're ready to progress them.
3. TEST: BUILD
Build is the first of three stages to (in)validate your hypotheses. Depending on the test you've designed, the build stage could for example involve creating a customer survey to gain insights, a landing page to understand visitor behaviour, an A/B or multivariate email test, or conducting a research task.
4. TEST: MEASURE
Once your tests have been built, you enter the measuring phase, where you capture new data.
5. TEST: LEARN
When you have sufficient data, you can begin analysis and identifying insights. There are three possible outcomes from your analysis:
uncertain = test more
validated = progress
invalidated = iterate/pivot and review your hypotheses
You can use the progress column to define what progress means to you for a given project, adding indicators or metrics in the form of validation criteria.
Ideally you should aim to invalidate your hypotheses (assumptions) with the tests you design, and see if they stand up to the tests. The alternative - designing tests to validate hypotheses - can result in narrow test parameters that return successful tests, though they are false.
Put the Progress Board to work across all your marketing and business strategy and innovation experiments.