For everyone who hates business plans, I keep finding alternative ways of planning. Here’s another one.
Try more stuff. RT @transarchitect: Experimenting is the new planning.
— Saul Kaplan (@skap5) December 13, 2012
Sounds good: just mess around and try things, right? Well, that’s not quite enough.
Experimenting means more than just trying things. It means methodical testing. You have a specific idea you’re testing, and the test is designed to find out whether the idea is valid. And before, during and after the test you measure.
How do you use this as a replacement for business planning? Follow all the steps:
- Come up with an idea for your business.
- Figure out a way to test it.
- Set up a relevant measurement.
- Run the test while measuring.
- Measure how well it worked.
- Decide how to improve the idea and test that.
Not as simple as just “trying stuff,” but potentially powerful.
Do you think this could be a useful alternative to planning for you?
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Jason Hull says
When I was at Capital One, we were a very test-oriented culture. Any time there was an idea, you had to test it. The important things to testing are to make sure that you’re isolating one variable that you’re testing so that you can measure the incremental lift in the change and ensure that you’re measuring the truly important variable. For example, it’s useless to reduce the amount of calls that reach a live person if every profitable customer you block then cancels the card.
Becky McCray says
Jason, thanks for adding what you’ve learned from testing as a way of business. Interesting to think of such a large company using this technique.