Before your team gets started on a new project, what are the routines that you undergo to ensure that you have considered varying avenues of innovation for the project? Is there a routine? Is it left up to individuals to think through and structure their projects by themselves? Is there room for feedback?
One of the areas that we have regularly dealt with at August Brown is the unintended stymying of innovation by a lack of registered processes that encourage thoughtful contributions from multiple angles. Business strategist Teri Giannetti, in the book, It’s All About the How, not only stresses the importance of the process but HOW you actually execute the process. We want to introduce one of the tools that August Brown teams regularly employ to help achieve breakthrough innovations as we take clients through the Tech Translation framework.
Assumption Storming resembles brainstorming in that one develops new ideas around a specific topic. The main difference, however, is that instead of coming up with new ideas to address an issue, the team comes up with the assumptions around a specific product, function, process, application, service, or even revenue streams.
After the specific objective is defined, ensure that you have a mix of people from different areas of your organization in order to contribute to the diversity of ideas. As a first step, the team catalogs all of the assumptions associated with the particular target on note cards or Post-it Notes. Once the team captures all of the assumptions, each assumption is placed on a chart based on its impact or risk factor. Now the fun begins! From here, the team will work to BREAK EACH ASSUMPTION and catalog the corresponding solution(s) from breaking the assumption.
For best results, teams should incorporate the Assumption Storming exercise into their standard routine at the start of projects or at anytime the project reaches critical milestones. We can almost guarantee that your team will walk itself into new areas of innovation by regularly including Assumption Storming as part of your in-house ideation process.
If you want to learn more about Assumption Storming, August Brown will be offering A FREE webinar that will teach the basics of Assumption Storming and offer practical examples to members of its private Facebook group in September 2019. If you are interested in the private Facebook group or attending the webinar please click here and we will notify you of the event details.
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