Assumption Map

Assumption Map

What is the Assumption Map workshop tactic?

This tactic helps you prioritise your assumptions based on certainty and risk.

Identifying your riskiest and most unknown assumptions gives you clear picture on where to focus your energy. It’s safe to assume that this is one of the most valuable tactics to have in your back pocket.

Make sure you have assumptions to prioritise by running Assumption Collecting beforehand. Afterwards, use Hypothesis Statement to turn your assumptions into a testable format.

Assumption Map Miro Template

How to use an Assumption Map

1. Plot your assumptions on a Priority Map with Certainty and Risk on the axes:
Assumption Map prioritisation matrix
High risk, known: Make a plan to overcome the risk

Low risk, known: Defer but monitor if risk increases

High risk, unknown: Investigate immediately

Low risk, unknown: Evaluate your knowledge, what you find out may increase the perceived risk.

2. Plot each assumption on the map, asking the group:

  • How bad would it be if we were wrong about this?
  • How much understanding do we currently have?

Tip: it can help to ask “is this more or less risky or unknown than this one?” to get a sense of relativity between items.

3. Continue this way until you have plotted all of your assumptions on the map.

4. Turn your riskiest and most unknown assumptions into a Hypothesis Statement in order to start the process of validating them.

Origin: Jeff Gothelf, Josh Seiden, Giff Constable & Larry Keeley.

Not sure if this is the right approach for your team at the moment? Try a different decision-making tactic. Once you know which direction your team should take, use a discussion tactic to help facilitate your team’s progress together.

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Assumption Map is one of 54 workshop recipe cards inside the Workshop Tactics card deck.

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