A major shift in tech delivering tech product has been achieved with the concept of rapid experimentation.
In an outcome-based, product-led environment a team is given free-rein to meet the business objectives (outcomes), agreed with stakeholders by coming up with ideas that align to it and then quickly prototyping and testing them to see if they have any impact ‘moving the needle’ – having an impact towards meeting the outcome.
The impact is usually gauged with simple A/B or Multi-variant Tests (MVT), in which two or more of the approaches to finding a solution are randomly served up to the end customers to find out which approach they prefer, though there are many other techniques especially in the field of user research.
Is this controversial?
It shouldn’t be, but sadly there are still too many organisations that are rigorously prescriptive about what should be done next. If you’ve been asked to put a 12-month roadmap together or have some targets you have to meet handed to you, then you may well find that you’re working in an environment where the benefits of rapid experimentation aren’t yet understood.
What are the consequences of experimentation?
Rapid experimentation, done well, leads to better information, faster. It offers practical, near real-time results from which informed decisions can be made. The information that can be acted upon is fresher and the risk of the world moving on without you is reduced.
How can I shift my organisation to an experiment mindset?
There is a longer answer to this question here, but in essence it comes down to return on investment. Rapid experimentation probably needs to have some kind of outlay in technology and skills. It will also need some influencing and persuading as you try to show that a trial and error approach is more practical that guessing the future with documents and meetings. Also be aware that people may see the approach as a risk to their jobs. A Project Management Office (PMO) team or senior manager for example may wonder where they fit in if experiments take over – and there is some truth that as you move from decision by conjecture to decision by data. Ultimately, start small, show that the approach works and then roll it out with an inspect and adapt mindset can often be a winner.
Want to keep reading?
- Check out other Frequent Product Questions just like this
- Want a better team? Take a look at our Frequent Agile Questions
- Sign up for free training with our FAQs LIVE
- Download our useful factsheets on all things agile