“Measure Learn Build” is the mantra of the Lean Start-up movement, however it’s a mantra that leads to waste in corporate environments.
Being able to learn quickly is a key element of success in both corporate and start-up environments. The rapid learning loop that forms the heartbeat of the Lean Start-up approach means that new product developments have a mechanism to course correct at a pace suitable for 2015.
As learning is the key to success, for start-ups there is work to do in creating the opportunity for learning. Namely, you need to build something, measure the results and use that dataset to infer some meaning that you call learning.
This history is often why large corporate organisations are looking to become faster and are interested in the lean start-up approach. It also means that there are plenty of datasets from which you can infer meaning and therefore learning. In fact the overwhelming volume of data can lead to analysis paralysis.
We regularly find that corporate organisations have datasets in separate silos of the organisation that together can provide incredibly deep learning very quickly.
To take advantage of the speed of learning that has made the Lean Start-Up approach so powerful you need data. That’s why we think the mantra of every intrepreneur should be “Measure, Learn, Build.”
The Measure, Learn, Build cycle takes account of the fact that in a corporate setting you already have data to work from.
Of course, there is nothing new about measuring before you start cutting, just ask any builder.
In our projects we’ve found that powerful measurement comes from cross departmental collection that reflects the customer’s journey rather than organisational structure. By combining website analytics data with call centre data we were able to reduce calls at Westminster Councils Planning Department by 17%.
An additional difference between the learning cycle in a corporate innovation setting from a true start-up is the length of time the learning cycle takes.
Contrary to what you might expect, corporate innovations have the potential to be quicker than their start-up cousins.
This is due to the comparative volume of data that can be produced. The time it takes to get to a statistically significant result when you have high call volumes and millions of visitors to your digital channel is dramatically reduced.
What should I do next?
The next time you are starting a project, start your planning based on the Measure Learn Build cycle and collect data sources from across the organisation.