Working in short, iterative cycles the team can now begin testing ways to prove out this hypothesis. Instead of biting off large sets of features, the team conceives, designs and builds “first drafts” of ideas that are deployed quickly. These “first drafts” are measured with the target metrics and if they show promise (i.e., the numbers are moving in the right direction) they are refined in the next iteration. If they don’t perform, they are reworked or scrapped in favor of the next idea.
These tight learning loops allow the team to bite off significantly smaller chunks of risk while giving reality a chance to take many turns at the plate. The team may learn very quickly that building three new content verticals is overkill and only one is needed. Alternatively, it may learn that three new verticals won’t make a difference at all in their success metrics. At which point they will have to conceive a new hypothesis.
(Full Story: A Better Project Model than the “Waterfall” – HBR)