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Lean Experiment Design

Learn S.M.A.R.T. Template

A detailed experiment template to help you design and document S.M.A.R.T. experiments and research. (S.M.A.R.T. = Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely.)

When to Use it

Use this template when:

  • You need to make a business decision
  • The situation or business model is new or
    there is no single correct answer
  • More information would help you
    make the decision
  • You have a limited time to collect new
    information
Who Should Use It

Best for experienced practitioners who want to retain detailed documentation of their business experiments. If you're a beginner, consider using the Learn S.I.M.P.L.E. experiment template to get your experiments started.

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How it Works

Read through the experiment template from top to bottom and fill out sections as you go. For each section, use the prompts to generate a number of ideas before deciding on what to fill out.

  • Question
    Identify what you need to know. Based on the business decision you need to make, what information would help you make the right decision? Choose only one question to focus on. 
  • Assumptions
    Identify what you already know and what blind spots you have. 
  • Data
    Identify the data that would help you answer that single question. There may be a number of different data sources that are available to answer any given question. You may select several data sources. 
  • Prediction
    Identify what action will be taken and what the result will be. Check if your prediction is falsifiable and specific enough to test. 
  • Fail Condition
    Identify what result would convince you that your belief is false. 
  • Plan
    Create individual plans to gather the data you selected. What is the simplest way you can gather each individual piece of data? You do not need as much data as you think! Think of plans that you can do in one week. Then select the simplest, fastest plan than will get you the most data. Eliminate any other ideas and remove data you don’t plan to collect. 
  • Time Box
    Determine if the plan is timely and if you can get data faster. 
  • Early Stop Condition
    Determine what would tell you that your plan won't work early on. 
  • Result
    Don’t fill this out yet! Go and run the experiment or research project by executing on your plan, then record the results after. If they don’t all fit on the page, just add a summary and write down where someone could find the complete results. 
  • Next Steps
    Should you pivot or persevere?

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