When trying to understand a problem, it’s potential solutions and what you should build in the end, it is so easy to loose the big picture of what you’re doing and how that translates down to experiment by experiment that moves your product closer to something desirable.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
One of the things I have found extremely useful is to build out an Experiment Roadmap; a sequence of experiments I think I am going to run in a particular order to get to the insights I need, before I feel confident in what our MVP should include.
The roadmap is important to have in order not to loose track. But it is not necessarily the actual roadmap. Because as we go about experimenting and being open to digesting our learnings and move on from them in the best possible manner, our roadmap changes.
So in fact we end up with the theoretical roadmap and the real one.
Why not just have the real one then and forget about trying to outline it in the first place?
Because outlining your thought process and your path towards anticipated learning and validation is an excellent catalyst for my own thought process. It ensures that I think about how NOT to fall into the abyss of just building what I feel, we should be building, without any prior experimentation.
In order words: Laying it out in front ensures that we follow the path of generating insights and validated learnings, before we build. And the actual roadmap of experiments is how the journey to get to the MVP actually forms.
By doing it this way we also get a chance of comparing notes and learn from our approach as we go along. What was the difference between ‘thinking’ and ‘doing’ and why do we think that was the case.
Those answers may be able to serve us very well and make us sharper, better and more efficient going forward. At least that is what I am betting on.