Experiment. Test. Learn. Repeat.
I am a huge fan of Agile methodology and especially the Lean flavor (as evangelized by Eric Ries). Lean methodology espouses the belief of starting small, building a series of experiments, testing them in the wild, learning what works and what doesn’t and then using that to build the next set of experiments. This leads to solutions that your organization will have more confidence in and that have long term success.
After working with both individuals and organizations, I found that the creation process (whether it was a new product, initiative or talent development) followed very similar patterns. So, I’ve come up with the BUMPER method to get you up and running!
So how does this work?
STEP 1: Get a Baseline.
It is almost impossible to know what works, what doesn’t and where you need to change if you don’t know where you started. Here’s where getting a baseline helps.
We’ll look for your gaps, your needs and where you may be able to make a difference. We’ll also create your defining story – the “so what who cares?” for your work. This is also known as creating a North Star or Guidepost. Your defining story will be our anchor as we move forward.
STEP 2: Understand your audience
Now that you have a sense of your why, let’s figure out who you are trying to do this work for and what you can offer them. By creating personas and doing user research we can validate our defining story and tailor it to your audience (whether that is internal or external).
STEP 3: Measure twice, experiment once
Now we’re getting to the good part! You know what you’re going to ask, who you’re going to ask and why you’re asking. Now we’ll create a set of metrics and a roadmap to understand what is going on and set a timeframe for the experiment. Let’s do this!
STEP 4: Put it out there
Be consistent in your execution. Don’t move the goalposts midstream.
STEP 5: Examine, Revise and Remix
Once your experiment is over, let’s take a look back and see what worked, what didn’t work and where you want to go next. Let’s pull out that roadmap and make adjustments as needed, focusing on amplifying the most marginalized. Now that you know what happened, what are the next set of experiments?
For clients, this system is usually broken out in the three steps below: