Hypothesis Writing & Mapping

The 1 Line Description

An easy way to start prioritizing and formulating your MVP and product strategy.

When to use it

In the early days, while still searching for product-market fit, and testing your biggest assumptions.

Key Ideas

Hypothesis Writing & Mapping

What is a hypothesis?

A hypothesis is a statement made with limited knowledge about a given situation that requires validation to be confirmed as true or false to such a degree where the team can continue their investigation and find the best solution to a given problem.

How to write a hypothesis - Hypothesis Template

We refer to the IF / THEN hypothesis statement, which tells the readers what you believe will happen in an investigation when something is changed, so you can see the effect of the change

Below you will find an example how this statement writing can be adapted to articulate a hypothesis:

“We believe that IF we change the Apply button from blue to green THEN we will have an increased conversion rate”

Alternatively you can use the following statement:

We believe 

[This Outcome] will be achieved if

[These Users] attain [A benefit]

With [This solution / feature / idea]

This template is a great test of the hypothesis, if you are struggling with completing this in a way it is a great indicator that you shouldn’t be working on the idea or hypothesis.

Hypothesis Prioritization Canvas Template

The Hypothesis Prioritization Canvas helps teams who have a lot of hypotheses to decide where to focus their precious discovery time, which hypothesis should be tested, which should be de-prioritised or just thrown away.

How to use the canvas?

The canvas is a simple matrix. The horizontal axis measures your assessment of the risk of each hypothesis. The vertical axis measures perceived value. The key word is perceived, because this is a hypothesis, a guess, the value we imagine our ideas will have is exactly that, imagined.

Test Quadrant

Any hypothesis in this quadrant is one which we should test. What we know at the time is that this hypothesis has a chance of significant impact on our business. However, should we get it wrong it can, equally, damage our brand, our budget or our market opportunity.

Ship & Measure Quadrant

Any hypothesis in this quadrant has low risk and doesn’t require any discovery work. These hypotheses have a high level of confidence and, based on our experience and expertise, stand a good chance of impacting the business in a positive way. We don’t only build and ship these, but we also measure their performance.

Don’t Test. Usually Don’t Build Quadrant

This quadrant can, at times, be unclear because there are ideas that may fall here that have value  despite the “low value” indication on the matrix. To be clear, any hypothesis in this quadrant doesn't get tested. In most cases they don’t get built either, however there will be times where ideas land in this quadrant that we need to build a successful business or product but won’t differentiate us in the market.

Discard Quadrant

Any Hypothesis in this quadrant we deem to have low value and high risk, these are thrown away. 

Hypothesis Testing Template

We generally want to test hypotheses that have the promise of high returns (High Value) but also pose significant risks. These are the hypotheses we should focus our experiments, learning and discovery on.

Strategyzer Test Card

Please follow the link below from the Strategyzer Academy to learn how to use the “Test Card”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cW46ySJmLD8

Simple Starting Template

Here is a nice simple Google Sheets template for getting started with a Hypothesis backlog. Screenshot: