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.

Try this...

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?


  1. Write down your current hypothesis
  2. Make a list of all the assumptions that must be true for this line of thought.
    Share your thinking and evidence
  3. Ask yourself if each assumption really is true.
    Might it change under different circumstances?
  4. Scrap any assumptions that do not hold true to your hypothesis.
    Challenge groupthink and bias here.
  5. Final check.
    Are there any other situations in which your remaining assumptions might not be true?
  6. What questions do you need to ask data?
    What are the gaps in your understanding?
    Have you discovered new issues that need more analysis?

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