Hypothesis Action Card

We use Hypothesis Action Cards (HACs) to translate assumptions into testable and precise hypotheses.

We extended Alex Osterwalder’s testing toolbox to help innovation, marketing, sales and L&D teams develop precise hypotheses and a clear roadmap to test them. Here we explain the cards for innovation teams.

Hypothesis Action Cards help innovation teams clarify and test critical assumptions about key aspects of their business case such as:

  1. What assumptions need to hold (in terms of market or technology, for instance) for an idea to work and succeed?
  2. What experiments or tests should we run to verify if the hypothesis holds (i.e., we are right) or needs to be rejected (i.e., our assumption was wrong)?
  3. What metrics or indicators are we going to gather/measure to test our hypotheses?
  4. When do we consider that the hypothesis holds (i.e., we are right) or needs to be rejected? What are the criteria?

HACs include a supplementary “action register” which innovators use to make their testing plan concrete. This helps teams agree on an actionable roadmap for testing and implementation by answering the following questions:

  1. What actions do we need to take to tests our hypotheses?
  2. Who will be responsible for executing each of these actions?
  3. When will it be done?
  4. What resources do we need to conduct this action?

To learn more about how to build and prioritize assumptions and turn them into hypotheses, check out our assumption matrix tool.

Once the results of the tests are in, we ask teams to transform their HACs into results cards as you can see here on the left. The results cards help teams summarize the outcomes of their tests, namely:

  1. The hypothesis (we believe that),
  2. The evidence we found (we observed),
  3. The insights we drew from the evidence (from that we learned that), and
  4. What actions we will take next (therefore, we will).

Results cards help teams decide what to present in their business case presentations.

Download the Hypothesis Action Card tool

Hypothesis Action Card