Assumption mapper.

Challenge and prioritize your assumptions.

Board of Innovation assumption mapper

What will you learn?

Do you have a business proposition in mind? The “assumption mapper” helps you:

  • Categorize the assumptions of your business idea.  Are your assumptions related to desirability, viability, feasibility or corporate fit?
  • Prioritize the assumptions of your business idea. Answer first the important assumptions which are easy to answer. Then, move to the important assumptions which are difficult to test. Leave the not-important assumptions for later.

Step-by-step guide.

Step 1

Download this PDF and print it on an A3 or A2 sheet of paper. You can also draw the graph on a flipchart if you can’t print.

Step 2

Be specific in selecting the scope of this exercise: start from the single most important feature/concept of your business proposition. 

Step 3

Write down on post-its the assumptions of the business proposition you have in mind. Examples of assumptions for Airbnb in its early days would have been: guests are not afraid of sleeping in the house of strangers, hosts are not afraid of damages in their properties, and so on. 

When  brainstorming the assumptions, populate the fields following this order:

  • Desirability: question if and to which extent your target audience desires your solution.
  • Viability: is the business model proven to be sustainable?
  • Feasibility: is the solution technically feasible?
  • Corporate fit: does the solution match the current operations of the business?

Step 4

Use 3 voting dots per person to vote the most critical assumptions. Then, select the ones which received the most votes. Are these allocated mainly in the upper section of the graph?

Step 5

Having prioritized the most critical assumptions, you can now start validating the most relevant ones (aka. the ones that relate to desirability and viability, and which are easy to answer) – leaving the least important ones for later (life it too short to waste time in irrelevant activities).

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