We see hundreds of startups launching their efforts each year, yet the majority of them fail within a short time period.  Why? The reason comes down to many factors including poor management structure, weak business model, insufficient funding and wrong decision making. The Build-Measure-Learn framework was developed by Eric Ries for just this reason. The model is principled on the Lean Startup philosophy and although it might seem simplistic at first, it is yet a breakthrough model that is highly applicable in today’s tumultuous business world.

The Build-Measure-Learn framework focuses on the ideas behind new offerings by creating and testing hypotheses. It is a circular model and it is compromised by three phases.

Phase 1: Build

Your first task is to put down your idea by developing a hypothesis, which is your prediction of what will happen. Your hypothesis should entail various aspects of the areas affected such as distribution, relevance to the market, pricing and marketing efforts. Your goal is to create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) which is the bare minimum product that can be developed for the purpose of testing.

Having that in mind, you need to start building your experiment. Think of terms of the data required and determine the most appropriate data collection method. You could either go for a quantitative analysis such as questionnaires, or a qualitative analysis such as interviews. As part of the Build phase, Eric Ries proposes the conduction of unit test, usability tests, and cloud computing.

Phase 2: Measure

Next, is the Measure phase in which the startup must measure and analyze the results obtained from the experiment in the previous phase. What do the results suggest? What are the implications? Is there sufficient evidence to support the potential of your hypothesis? These are all questions that need to be answered.

Yet, just answering these questions is not sufficient. You will then to organize all data in an understandable way so the idea and results can easily be passed along the members of the company in question. Make sure that you present the data in a clearly defined and compelling manner that will grab attention and persuade listeners.

Phase 3: Learn

The final phase of the model is the Learn phase and this is the point in time the company will have to make a decision according to the obtained results and measurements. There are two options to move forward:

  • Persevere: Here your hypothesis was accurate, so you carry on with the same goals as you implement the idea. Yet, it is important that this process is repeated in order to feed the continuous refinement and improvement of the idea.
  • Pivot: Here, your hypothesis was inaccurate but the knowledge attained during the process. Using all the key-takeaways you can change or adapt some aspects (or even all) of your strategy and repeat the loop. Pivoting can be implemented in various ways, including Zoom-In Pivoting, Customer Segment Pivoting, Chanel Pivoting and Zoom-Out Pivoting.