Fail Fast

Fail fast is an Agile philosophy which places stress on incremental development and rigorous testing to test if a certain idea would add value to the product. Fail fast is important because it helps in lowering down the losses related to a certain idea by quick testing, and further, trying something else. In layman terms, the whole process of trying something quickly, fetching feedback, rapid inspecting, and thereafter the necessary adaptation can be termed as Fail Fast. Due to the negative baggage associated with the term ‘fail’, many organisations prefer instead to use the philosophy of ‘Learn Fast’. This has a much more positive take on the philosophy. There are many techniques and tools from the Lean and Agile stable of practices to help you to Learn Fast. Rapid prototyping is a great way to learn fast – but learn fast and cheaply. You can use tools as basic as Powerpoint to produce a click-through prototype to get rapid feedback from your target audience. Other more advanced tools include Balsamiq Mockups, Axure, and others. It’s important to Learn Fast/Fail Fast because if you don’t then you risk throwing away large sums of money for little or no return. Typically, most teams have the capability to test and validate ideas before they incur expensive development, test, and release effort. The Product Owner often works with a User Experience or User Researcher upstream from the delivery team to create, test, and validate new ideas. This activity usually operates on its own cadence, separate from the development team. Other Agile techniques that are often associated with fail fast or learn fast are regular demonstrations, show and tells, showcasing, gorilla testing, split testing, a/b testing, and multi-variant testing. Solutioneers run a one day workshop called Create Better User Stories in which we cover all of these techniques and more.

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