Testing your assumptions throughout a project helps you challenge expectations and uncover faulty logic.
Use this to...
- Identify weak assumptions.
- Expose faulty logic.
- Reveal hidden connection between issues.
- Highlight situations that might make you scrap the assumption.
- Uncover gaps in your understanding, and ultimately better questions.
Go solo! Whether on the bus or preparing for a pitch by yourself, Going through a Key Assumptions Check can help you uncover potential weaknesses in your arguments.
Face-to-face meeting. Whiteboards, stickies, an old-fashioned notebook, are all useful ways to articulate your thinking and assumptions.
Remember. The goal is not to throw your key assumptions out with the bathwater. Interrogate them; make them work for their place in your thinking.
Go further. Now you have your key assumptions, why not do Devil's Advocacy and see how tough they really are?
- Write down your current hypothesis
- Make a list of all the assumptions that must be true for this line of thought.
Share your thinking and evidence
- Ask yourself if each assumption really is true.
Might it change under different circumstances?
- Scrap any assumptions that do not hold true to your hypothesis.
Challenge groupthink and bias here.
- Final check.
Are there any other situations in which your remaining assumptions might not be true?
- What questions do you need to ask data?
What are the gaps in your understanding?
Have you discovered new issues that need more analysis?