How to make use of the power of assumptions

Assumptions form the basis of several actions. Assumptions provide drive to move ahead or make you stand-still. They are powerful. Entrepreneurs assume that there’ll be a market, potential buyers, for their solution whenever they build and take it to them. They believe it is possible to change the world and they know how to do it. They are making several assumptions. Likewise, those who believe it is impossible to change the world. The difference is what they have assumed and how well it is helping them to drive one or the other way.

Assumptions are important for any journey. We continuously assume several things and take somethings for granted. Most of the assumptions are not documented and tracked diligently. That delimits the power of assumptions. To make the best use of the power of assumptions, try the following:

  • document all assumptions and the basis of such assumptions.
  • identify what actions you take if they are not true.
  • classify all assumptions into Arbitrary, Basic and Critical.
  • identify actions required to verify each of the assumptions
  • verify and validate your assumptions quickly, depending on the impact they may create, if found not-true.
  • schedule first 2% of the project day towards checking the validity of those assumptions
  • record and revise assumptions every project day, as and when you realize or someone in the team brings-up
  • explicitly ask people what assumptions they are making when they are committing something to the project – this helps in bringing the common understanding amongst the team members and also helps validation through peer-learning.

Assumptions have the power to steer your work, initiative or business idea towards an accelerated path of success. Tracking them diligently helps you stay ahead of surprises. Make the best use of the power of assumptions to stay on top-of-your-game.

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