Assumption Mapping

Assumption mapping is a team exercise where all assumptions are made explicit and prioritized in terms of importance and evidence.
The exercise is designed to help you make all risks explicit in the form of assumptions, so you can prioritize them. All your assumptions are related to one of the three perspectives

  • Customer Desirability
  • Business Viability
  • Organizational Feasibility
Time
60-120 minutes
Number of people
This is a team exercise. Good to have groups of 4-7 people, for bigger groups, divide into smaller groups.
Material
Sticky notes, whiteboard or similar digital tool


PREPARE

  • Make sure you already have:
    • A Business Model Canvas that describes your business idea
    • A Value Proposition Canvas that describes your customer segment and value proposition
  • Book a room and invite your team and other stakeholders

WORKSHOP

  • Use a sticky note to write down each:
    • Desirability assumption and put it on your canvases
    • Viability assumption and put it on your canvases
    • Feasibility assumption and put it on your canvases
    • Adaptability assumption and put it on your canvases
  • Add all you sticky notes to your canvas (on the outside of the Business Model Canvas and Value Proposition Canvas based on viability, desirability, and feasibility)
  • Everyone describes what they have written
  • Group if necessary

EXAMPLES

Customer Desirability

  • We believe…
    • the customer segment is…
    • the primary customer need, problem or hopes are…
    • that our solution solves the customer problem or need
    • that our solution is important for our customers
    • that our solutions is so unique and valuable that the customer would switch for current solution

TIPS

  • Start every sticky notes with ”I believe…” or ”We believe…”
  • Use different colour sticky notes for desirability, feasibility, and viability assumptions.
  • Also think about ethical perspective (should we do it?) and the usable (is it usable, easy to understand, findable etc)
  • Your assumptions should be as specific as possible, to the best of your knowledge, based on what you know today
  • Every assumption should be a single sticky note.
  • Don’t use bullet points; that makes it easier to prioritize your assumptions
  • Keep your assumptions short and precise
  • Discuss and agree as a team