Coaching - Interacting with experiments

Interacting with experiments

Every choice we make, every action we take, is an experiment. Learning comes from how we interact with the data (output / results) of experiments.

Lean Change Management, Experiment Boards, Celebration Grids, Experiment and LEWI Cards all help us to understand how to right size, run, and retrospect experiments. Start with a hypothesis. Make a small change or try something new. Measure the results. Rinse and repeat.

I wholeheartedly believe this is the the best way to interact with complex systems. I also believe most people (myself included) leave money on the table between the measuring of results and moving on to the next experiment. We leave value hidden in the data by not interacting with data.

There is a a profound opportunity for meta-learning by interacting with the data generated from experiments. To get the hidden value, interact with the data beyond the traditional retrospective and inspect and adapt cycle. By questioning the data we can look beyond the “cult of the average” and ask, what stories are the outliers telling? What is happening at the intersection of correlation and causality? How can we subdivide the outputs to see new patterns and what fractals are forming in the meta-data? How can we display our findings to encourage others to explore and interact with both the data and with us? 

Getting intimate with the data makes it easier to ask questions like “what if” and “how might we?” Leverage the output of one set of experiments to create the next. Build micro-experiments to deliver focused results. Personally interacting with the data moves the the information from the cold and impersonal, to a tool for growth and exploration where we own the process from the design to result. 

Working with the data provides an audit trail to show how specific actions create meaningful results. As a coach, I have a tool to measure my contribution and the value my effort delivers.

How can you use the output of your experiments to leverage learning and increase your ROI?

Additional resources:

Jason Little’s Lean Change Management

Jurgen Appelo’s Celebration Grid

Vanessa Shaw’s LEWI Cards