What is rapid experimentation

Rapid experimentation is an agile technique in product development that helps run rapid tests to verify assumptions and hypotheses. Rapid experimentation enables teams to review and test vital questions during product development. As rapid experimentation tests hypotheses, new ideas are sometimes generated in the same process.

How Rapid Experimentation Works

Rapid experimentation aims to test essential questions with minimal investment. For example, Google once built a prototype Google glass using components that are easy to access. The goal was to try the idea without creating the final product design. 

Dropbox did something similar, using a sample page to test people’s interest in their upcoming design. The approach validated their design and gave feedback that shaped the actual release. The feedback is known as “new ideas” in agile, rapid experimentation.

Rapid experimentation is valuable to any production team since it’s a real test that helps the development team get honest feedback on their product. Better decisions are made as a team can learn what to include and omit, making the best use of available resources. The feedback from the end-users gives the needed data to improve a product and make final adjustments.

Steps In Rapid Experimentation

Assumption

Also called “Leap of Faith Assumptions,” this step focuses experiments and resources on the section with the highest risk. This type of assumption in product development is pivotal to success. A development team will have to consider all assumptions that will lead to the success of a project. It includes but is not limited to how consumers will behave and the best technology to implement.

Prototyping

Prototyping aims to materialize ideas using quick and cheap methods. The goal here is not to project a concept perfectly. Instead, the plan is to make it tangible and get feedback. Prototypes have to be an overview of the final result and how it will function, so they are allowed to be rough and imperfect.

Experimentation

Experimentation puts the product in front of real users for testing. It’s an assessment executed based on customer behavior. A production team gets to know how consumers interact with the product by employing tracking tools and surveys. In a survey, customers can claim they want something that may differ from an actual step they will take in a real-time situation. In experimentation, what a customer would do is seen when interacting with a product even though it’s not entirely developed.

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