3. Identify your assumptions

Your problem and ideas about how to solve it are based on a set of assumptions. Lean product design is all about surfacing and testing those assumptions. Before diving into deciding what to test (building hypotheses), it’s important to consider all of your project’s potential assumptions.

Your turn: Thinking about your problem statement, map out all the assumptions you have (everyone should contribute, and no ideas should be rejected) about needs, users, and potential solutions. These are suggested brainstorming questions that help get at some common assumptions:

Needs and solution assumptions

  1. I believe my users have a need to:
  2. I believe these needs can be solved with:
  3. I believe the #1 value a user wants to get out of my service is:
  4. I believe the user can also get these additional benefits:
  5. I believe I will acquire the majority of my users through:
  6. I believe my biggest product risk is:
  7. We will solve this through:
  8. What systems will our solution need to interact with?
  9. What other assumptions do we have that, if proven false, will cause our project to fail?

User assumptions

  1. Who is the user? Note: Now would be a good time to conduct a persona creation exercise.
  2. What problems does our product solve?
  3. When and how is our product used?
  4. What features are important?
  5. How should our product look and behave?
  6. What are our design principles?
  7. What will the touchpoints be?