ReadyTalk Test Tank: How We’re Getting LEAN

TestTank 20158 Teams
1 LEAN Methodology
1 Week

Last week we kicked-off ReadyTalk Test Tank for the very first time. We gave employees the opportunity to form teams, and put their hypotheses through the LEAN process.

The core component of the LEAN methodology is the build-measure-learn feedback loop. For those not familiar with this process, it’s all about failing fast and continually learning.

There are 3 Key Principles to the LEAN Method:

1. Hypotheses: We started with untested hypotheses, which we summarized in an Experiment Board and framework called a LEAN business model canvas.

2. “Get out of the Building” Approach (Customer Development): This is the phase to get out and ask potential customers for feedback on all elements of the business model, including product features, pricing, distribution channels, etc.

The feedback would then be used to do one of two things:

• Iterate or Pivot: Make small or substantial adjustments.
• Persevere: Move forward with your hypothesis.

The emphasis here is to confirm the hypothesis, create and validate the solution, all while constantly adapting and doing so quickly.

3. Agile Development: Develop the product iteratively and incrementally, preventing wasted time and resources. This is the process by which teams would create the minimum viable products they tested.

Test Tank week has come and gone, but not without leaving behind a lasting impression on us here at ReadyTalk.

Here’s what we’ve learned:

• It’s hard to refrain from thinking about a solution until you’ve validated your hypothesis.
• With a dedicated timeframe for the experiment, there was no time to waste, so more was done in a shorter time period than we thought was possible.
• It was useful to have potential customers provide feedback before too much time, development or resources were put into an idea that customers found no need for.
• We had to get creative to find target customers with limited time: online surveys, meet-ups for professionals, reaching out to personal networks, etc.

The experiment overall was a BIG SUCCESS! Our teams presented in front of a panel of judges and company employees at the end of the week. There were ideas from #Everything to virtual meeting rooms and even LEAN/Agile and Webinar Consulting Services. Stay tuned to see if any Test Tank ideas become part of our company product portfolio in the future.

Test Tank was just the platform we needed to continue to implement the LEAN methodology here at ReadyTalk. Tell us about the ways you and your company are practicing LEAN.

To learn more about the LEAN methodology, check out the following books:
Eric Ries, “The Lean Startup
Trevor Owens, “The Lean Enterprise
Ash Maurya, “Running Lean

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