Test the Idea at (Small) Scale

You have surveyed the current reality, and looked at what else is possible. You – in conjunction with others – have envisioned a new approach to work. Now is the time to run an initial experiment or test – to start and make the change in order to evaluate the near-term potential of the big idea.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Find a person or team to work with. If you are not running the process yourself, you will need to find a person or team who is. You should already know various people who would fit this description, because they should have been involved to some degree in the earlier analysis and reimagining. The team you engage with needs to be aware that they are going to be testing an idea, and that there will be some rough edges.
  • Design a usable prototype, or if you are introducing new behaviours enabled by standardised tools, design a script or storyboard of how the process should now work. The bigger the change, the more effort in communication, joint explanation and discussion will be required. Why are we doing this? What new skills will be necessary? What do you stop doing and what do you start?
  • Help the team to begin, offering whatever support is needed in terms of re-explanation, coaching, and skills training.
  • At an appropriate point or stage, debrief on the new way of working. What needs more work? Which ideas resonated? Where does the team see opportunities for doing more and going further? What’s not working as expected / hoped?
  • Test and refine the design concept and the prototype / script / storyboard, and begin again with greater insight and awareness.

Testing and refining the idea at small scale enables a better ramp up when taking the idea to the large scale.

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