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Assumption Jam

Purpose:

The Assumption Jam (all 5 steps) takes around 26 minutes per topic (all four quadrants) to complete. It can help teams gain alignment under conditions of uncertainty, which reduces the setup costs in putting an effort in motion.

Guide:

As the host/facilitator, define, for each assumption map, what you are working on, e.g., a broad topic, problem, question, or solution. Ensure participants are carefully selected and are clear about what will be discussed and what the process will look like so they are prepared.

1. Working silently together, post facts in the top left quadrant.

Set timer for 3 minutes.

Work together to cluster similar submissions. Then, participants should read and explain their card(s) to ensure there is a shared understanding. As a group, decide if any duplicates exist and eliminate or combine them.

Set timer for 3 minutes.

2. Working silently together, post assumptions in the top right quadrant.

Set timer for 3 minutes.

Work together to cluster similar submissions. Then, participants should read and explain their card(s) to ensure there is a shared understanding. As a group, decide if any duplicates exist and eliminate or combine them.

Set timer for 3 minutes.

3. Working silently together, post knowledge gaps in the bottom left quadrant.

Set timer for 3 minutes.

Work together to cluster similar submissions. Then, participants should read and explain their card(s) to ensure there is a shared understanding. As a group, decide if any duplicates exist and eliminate or combine them.

Set timer for 3 minutes.

4. Working silently together, vote on assumptions (host should use Miro's voting feature, and give each participant only 3 votes).

When voting, think about desirability, business viability, technical feasibility, and usability. The host should take the highest voted items and move them to the bottom right quadrant.

Set timer for 3 minutes.

5. The team (or participants/group) should decide on next steps, e.g., debate if facts are truly facts, timebox research effort to remove knowledge gaps, test selected assumptions, and/or assign tasks to participant(s) where applicable.

Set timer for 5 minutes.

Categories

Matt Lane image
Matt Lane
Product Strategist + Conceptual Designer
I am a product architect. I define business opportunities, course correct the product development process, and design organizations to manage innovation and harvest effective product cultures.

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