In a previous blog on agility we promised to delve deeper into the four critical mindsets you need to be truly agile. Here we take a look at Experimentation.
What does Experimentation mean?
Business cycles are shrinking all the time, and companies no longer have the luxury of time to perfect their products and solutions. Experimentation means quickly testing, learning, and iterating in a constant feedback loop to better serve your customers. It’s about endlessly trialling, failing fast, and being able to let activities and projects go if they’re no longer helping you to meet customer needs.
How do we do it?
With the experimentation mindset, there is no such thing as right or wrong. Everything is an experiment to learn from. Rather than seeing experimentation as a risk, for agile organizations it’s embraced as an essential ingredient in success.
In practice, it means asking customers for their feedback on ideas and prototypes, and co-creating products and solutions with them. It’s about starting small and getting comfortable trying out new ideas, activities, or behaviours and not waiting for everything to be just right before you do anything. Everything is a work in progress.
You also need to quickly and dispassionately let go of ideas or projects that aren’t delivering value. If you view them simply as experiments, you can take the lessons from them and apply them to your next idea.
What business benefits does it have?
Failing fast and stopping ideas, products, or services that aren’t delivering value means you can pivot to those that have more possibility of success, you’ll remain in step with your customers and the market, and won’t be wasting precious time, money, and energy in the wrong areas.
By getting used to experimenting, iterating, and letting go, you generate more ideas, increase your chances of success, and free the organisation up to spend its time obsessing on customer outcomes that will drive greater returns for your business.
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