The Experiment Canvas, created by Chris Stone, is a practice and artifact that helps teams design focused experiments with clear guardrails around scope, involvement, timeframe, and success criteria. It's a great tool to use when a team has:
a) a problem they want to solve
b) an idea they want to implement
If you get the sense the team doesn't have quite enough of a firm grasp of the problem, you might try running something like an Abstraction Ladder practice to help the team explore and map out the problem space.
When a team fills out an experiment canvas together, it forces conversations that require the team to make decisions about specific areas that make up a well-designed experiment.
By the end, all teams members have a clear sense of what's being done, thereby improving alignment, clarity, and speed while instilling a culture of ideation, collaboration, and experimentation as the vehicle to continuous improvement 💡 👩🔬 📈
Prepare a blank Experiment Canvas on a wall or in your digital whiteboarding tool of choice (Miro, Mural, Jamboard, etc).
With the team, go through each section of the canvas 1 by 1 and fill in the required information, one idea per stickie.
You can use the following recommended order to fill out the canvas, but it's not required:
1. The Problem
What problem are we trying to solve?
Why do we need to experiment with something new?
2. The People
Who will be affected by our experiment? (Who experiences our problem statement?)
Who do we need to engage and involve?
3. The Outcome
What are our desired outcomes?
What are we hoping to achieve through the experiment?
4. The Hypothesis
What's our hypothesis?
This section will likely take the longest, but it's very important!
The facilitator will lead the discussion, creating stickies, then opening up to the team for discussion. With smaller groups, you can have the team start ideating as you capture ideas. For larger groups, or groups getting a bit stuck, you can facilitate this by nominating options and using your idea(s) as a starting point for the group to discuss.
5. The Results
How will we know our hypothesis is true?
How will we know our hypothesis is false?
6. The Litmus Test
What metrics, data, or KPIs do we need to measure?
7. The Trials
When will we measure results?
What are the next steps to bring this experiment to life?
8. The Scientists
Who is carrying out the experiment?
What are our roles & responsibilities?
Have the owners of each "next step" carry out their step to get the experiment ready.
Once prepared, begin the experiment and schedule a follow-up meeting as soon after the end date as possible.
Facilitate a team retrospective during the follow-up meeting to view the data collected and compare it to what was identified in "The Results"
Ask the team what worked and what didn't work well
Review all information and make a team determination to...
Check out these great links which can help you dive a little deeper into running the Experiment Canvas practice with your team, customers or stakeholders.