Doing experiments – how to create Hypothesis and validate your Experiments
Lean Change Management Model
Lean Change Management is a book written by Jason Little, which shows how to implement successful change through examples of innovative practices that can greatly improve the success of change programs.
Jason talks about the Lean Change Management Cycle, which consists of 3 big parts: Insights, Options and Experiments.
Let´s first look at a brief description of it:
Insights: It´s very important to understand the current state of the organization, before you can plan any change. In order to do that, there are several tools, assessments, and models you can apply to understand the current position. The Lean Change Management book describes many practices to collect Insights.
Options: When you gain enough Insights to start with the planning, you will need Options. Options have a cost, value and impact. Options usually include one or more hypotheses as well as expected benefits. These hypotheses are then turned into Experiments.
Experiments: Now it’s time to introduce a change and see if it works out. At this point you should learn enough about your current position and consider multiple Options.
Experiments contain a sub-cycle:
Prepare: This is the planning stage of your Experiment. At this point, all you have are your assumptions about the change. In this step you validate your approach with people affected by the change.
Introduce: In this step you start working with people affected by the change. Once a change will reach this step, it is part of the process.
Review: Here you review the outcomes of the Experiment. Normally you do this after the amount of time you thought you would need for the change to stick.
In this model, Insights is when you observe the situation as it currently is. Then you move to Options, where you evaluate cost, value, and impact of each possibility. From this you create a hypothesis to test the expected benefits of that test. Using that hypothesis, you form an Experiment.
When undergoing a change in your organization, you want to automatically call everything a change. But calling changes “Experiments” helps you develop an approach that makes it OKAY to not know everything upfront.
There might be unexpected impacts of a change transformation in your organization that you didn´t previously consider, and for that reasons calling a change an experiment helps you be more creative and learn while the change is in progress.
Experiments consist of 3 main components:
Hypothesis: When you think a change is a good idea, then you create a hypothesis. It is based on your own bias.
Measurements: This is how you´ll measure the outcome of the Experiment
Big picture: You can track a big picture on your change wall. Your Experiment should fit into the big picture of your change.
All experiments start with hypothesis. Below you find a hypothesis structure:
We hypothesise by <implementing this change>
We will <solve this problem>
Which will have <these benefits>
As measured by <this measurement>
This structure or template helps change agents to be explicit about Experiments. You´ll be able to measure your Experiments better when you explicitly state the benefit, measurement and goal for your Experiments.
Another advantage of using this template that it uses a simple language everyone can understand, so nothing complicated.
You can follow the following thought process:
- think about what the experiment would be
- think about who would be affected
- think about what would be the benefit
- think about how to validate the Experiment as successful