Fail Fast, Learn Fast
Every new product and every business has that “one amazing idea” that someone believes the market needs. However, not every brilliant idea is groundbreaking. Sometimes all it takes is a few adjustments to turn a good concept into a terrific one. Other times it seems hopeless. It’s hard to tell which ideas are good and which aren’t in the early stages.
Every team’s goal is to offer high-quality function—that brilliant concept that clients adore—as quickly as possible. Instead than going down the wrong route, one strategy for achieving this goal is to rapidly alter course when something isn’t working. This method is referred to as “failing fast.”
When it comes to business development, you only have so much time, money, and people to get an idea right. You spend more resources the longer it takes you to recognize that an idea isn’t a winner. On the other hand, the faster you can prove that an idea is good, the faster you can get funds to make it a reality.
The key to failing quickly is to flesh out your concept enough to see if it’s beneficial to customers. Customers can validate the function for as little money as feasible, lowering business risk. You can find out if a customer dislikes a new function before investing further time or resources into developing it and moving on to the next one.
Failing quickly demands a culture in which the business is free to fail but can learn from each setback in order to succeed faster the next time.
Consider enrolling in a 10-week beginner’s pottery class. Half of the pupils work on a single clay pot for the full 10 weeks. The overall grade for those kids is determined by the quality of that one pot. The other half of the students try to make as many pots as they can, and their grades are determined by the quality of the pots they manufacture. An unbiased expert is called in at the end of the ten weeks to determine which pots are the best.
Which half of the class will most likely have the most impressive pots? Experiment after experiment indicates that the “trial and error” group will have a higher number of great pots. Because the second set of students is required to attempt a variety of ideas and strategies, they will be able to locate and implement concepts that work more rapidly, resulting in great results.
Enterprise Design Thinking is based on this concept. “Enlightened trial and error beats the panning of the lone genius,” David Kelley says.
How to fail fast
You can fail fast—and learn fast—in many ways.
- – Investing in a project that your clients don’t want is the most expensive mistake you can make. The first step in failing quickly is to demonstrate that your intended clients desire and need what you’re about to develop. Validate your concept with your stakeholders.
- -Mandate that participants investigate “crazy” ideas to determine if aspects of those ideas lead to good ones during the workshop phase of a project where the team and stakeholders establish the application features and minimum viable product (MVP). Teams can easily distinguish between good and bad ideas this way.
- -The entire team—design, development, and business—identifies the riskiest assumptions that support a concept in a hypothesis-driven development approach. The team then creates experiments to put them to the test. If the proposal is built on false assumptions, it will fail, and the team will be able to pivot and save money. When the team tests the most risky components of the project early on, the project’s cost, risk, and design become more predictable.
- -You must validate how the platform and devices effect your concept while working on a new project that requires a big investment. Implement as little of your infrastructure as possible to test an assumption, then add a little more to test the next assumption. If you don’t have a large part of your project established before a failure, you’ll have a better sense of where the problem is coming from.
Your team will become accustomed to trying and rebounding from unforeseen events as part of the development cycle as it embraces the concept of failing quickly. Everyone gains confidence that uncovering and reporting on the unknown is valued and recognized as a contributor to the project’s success. What matters is a fantastic solution, which is only possible if failure and correction are ingrained in the team’s culture.