Take small steps and learn as you go

No one gets it right first time. Building a digital service is the same as everything else. Our first ideas are often laden with assumptions about what we think users need, and our assumptions will almost always turn out to be wrong. So rather than plan everything upfront based on these assumptions, it’s important to start small and build the smallest, cheapest version of something we can to test whether our ideas are right. Then we can learn from the test, build the next version of the service, and test it again. This virtuous cycle is at the heart of good digital development. It’s at the heart of very established software management processes like agile, and the lean startup. A further benefit of this approach is that it forces the team to focus on specific problems, rather than try to do too many things at once.

Find out more
About lean startup for charities
About agile for charities or the agile manifesto
How technology can narrow the gap between new insight and new action

Did you find this principle useful? Maybe you’d like to share it: