How Managers Can Build a Culture of Experimentation - Deepstash
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Effective experimentation

Effective experimentation

Experimentation fosters innovation, but it can also consume time and resources. To make experimentation productive in your organisation, you must manage the following conditions:

  • What you learn from experiments
  • How you apply what you learned
  • The opportunities that come from your learnings
  • The conversations you have with colleagues about your findings

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Understand testing in business conditions

Managers often assume that testing a new product, price, or service means approaching it like a clinical trial in medicine with a hypothesis and validation. But business is different. You seldom have a chance to do randomised trials. Instead, you have to alter the product or price while in use and in conditions you can't control.

Some tests may be unnecessary if you use existing data and literature. Consider the opportunity costs in testing and adjust the methodology and scope.

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Mind your data

Mind your data

You need reliable data. Over 80% of the time and costs of data scientists and IT groups is spent cleaning up data due to, for example, inconsistent inputs and outdated views of buyer behaviour and legacy assumptions.

You should build tests from data you are confident about.

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Establish decision-making criteria

The most difficult challenges in testing are internal processes. While managers are good at asking questions, they fail to specify what would constitute a feasible answer to those questions. Managers must always interpret data with a specific end in mind.

For example, pricing has many dimensions, such as base price, discounts, rebates tied to volume, special offers, etc. The evaluation criteria for price testing should be established because testing means evaluating alternatives.

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Small ideas can have a bigger impact with less risk

Small ideas can have a bigger impact with less risk

Companies tend to allocate testing time and money to large initiatives while ignoring small ideas that can have a bigger impact. Seek progress, not perfection. Invest in processes that encourage employees to submit small ideas.

  • Use your website purchase interactions. For example, when airlines ask if a trip is for business or personal, they gain insight into price sensitivity for upgrades.
  • Occasionally rotate the questions you ask to gather insights from a different perspective.
  • Engage users and non-users.

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