Prioritize assumptions

Use your Assumption Map to prioritize all your assumptions in terms of importance and existence (or absence) of evidence that supports them. The goal is to identify the riskiest ones that you want to test with experiments.

60-120 minutes
Number of people
This is a team exercise, for bigger groups, divide into smaller groups.
Business model canvas, Value proposition canvas
Sticky notes and pens or similar digital tool


Make sure you have:

  • A filled in Business Model Canvas that describes your business idea
  • A filled in Value Proposition Canvas that describes your customer segment and value proposition
  • Written assumptions on sticky notes.
    • Yellow: Customer desirability assumptions
    • Blue: Business viability assumptions
    • Green: Organization feasibility assumptions
  • Book room and invite your team and other stakeholders


  1. Start by going through all your assumptions
  2. Then move your post-its to prioritization template
    1. On the x-axis you place all your hypotheses positioned to show how much data and evidence you have or don’t have to support or refute a specific hypothesis. You place a hypothesis on the left if you are able to produce relevant, observable, and recent evidence to support a hypothesis. You place a hypothesis on the right if you do not have evidence and therefore will need to generate it.
    2. On the y-axis you place all your hypotheses in terms of importance or risk. Position a hypothesis at the top if it is absolutely critical for your business idea to succeed. In other words, if that hypothesis is proven wrong, your business idea will fail and all other hypotheses become irrelevant. You place a hypothesis at the bottom if it is not one of the first things you’d go out and test.
  3. When done, have a discussion which ones are the most important (riskiest) assumptions.
  4. Take your most important assumptions and start to write hypothesis on test cards.

This play is based on prioritizing assumptions from the book, Testing Business Ideas by Strategizer