Where should I start with testing?

Like with most processes, starting is usually the most challenging part. You know the feeling. It’s when you don’t have your flywheel going quite yet and you’re not sure at what stage to jump in. When it comes to Experimentation, the usual places I see people jump in are at the Research, Hypotheses creation, or Setting up the test phases. And I’m going to tell you why the best CROs almost always start with Research.

But before I do that, let’s take a quick step back. If you are reading this, I’m going to assume that you’d like to create an enduring cycle of testing and learning (and, yes, ultimately winning). And as we all know, all cycles eventually come back to the same spot – that’s what cycles do after all. In the case of Experimentation, that generally happens right after you’ve run your test and generated your learnings. It’s at this point where inexperienced Experimenters ask themselves, “What now?” It’s at this point that the cycle often stalls and most of the momentum is lost (outside of failed regression testing, or internet outages).

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However, if one starts with Research, generating a new hypothesis is trivial. Let’s take a basic example. Let’s say, we notice that some office workers are grumpy. And from Research, we discover that they are grumpy because they are hungry. There are many ways we can address this grumpiness problem that range from different snack and dinner options to cruelly ignoring their complaints. But because we have Research, we can go through the testing cycle over and over again, trying different solutions, generating one learning after another. Our testing, or Learning Agenda, would be guided, purposeful, and efficient. Had we skipped the Research phase, we would waste cycles randomly testing hypotheses or wasted everyone’s time in setting up tests that made no sense. We would almost certainly waste many cycles asking ourselves, “What now?” as we generated lackluster learnings time and time again.

In the end, remember this. Research helps generate ideas. Research focuses thinking. Research reduces wasted cycles. Start with Research.

Good luck and see you in 2 weeks!

Rommil Santiago
Founder, Experiment Nation


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