Posted in Product

Value Proposition/ Hypothesis


Definition: Assumptions are our best guess based on what we know today. They are also filled with risk. Your goal as Lean UX practitioners is to reduce risk. (1, page 23) 

Four Big Assumptions (1, page 24)

  • Business outcomes
  • Users
  • User outcomes 
  • Features 

Assumptions Workshop (1, page 24-25)


Whole Team


Find out the following in reference to the problem statement

  • Analytics reports that show how the current product is being used 
  • Usability reports that illustrate why customers are taking certain actions in your product 
  • Information about past attempts to fix this issue and their successes and failures 
  • Justification from the business as to how solving this problem will affect the company’s performance 
  • Competitive analysis that show how your competition is tackling the same issue 
WOrksheet Questions

Business Assumptions

  1. I believe my customers have a need to: 
  2. These needs can be solved with: 
  3. My initial customers are (or will be):
  4. The #1 value a customer wants to get our of my service is:
  5. They can also get these additional benefits:
  6. I will acquire the majority of my customers through:
  7. I will make money by:
  8. My primary competition in the market will be:
  9. We will beat them due to:
  10. My biggest product risk is:
  11. We will solve this through:
  12. We will know we are successful when we see the following changes in customer behaviour:
  13. What other assumptions do we have that, if proven false, will cause our business/ project to fail:

User Assumptions

  1. Who is the user?
  2. Where does our product fir in their work or life?
  3. What problems does our product solve?
  4. When and how is our product used?
  5. What features are important?
  6. How should our product look and behave?
  1. Give everyone the worksheet and ask them to answer the assumption questions individually about the problem statement
  2. Collect all the assumptions together
  3. Use these assumptions to form hypotheses

Hypotheses Creation

Hypothesis Statement Format (1, page 30)

We believe [this statement is true]. We will know we're [right/wrong] when we see the following feedback from the market: [qualitative feedback] and/or [quantitative feedback] and/or [key performance indicator change]

Hypothesis Driven Development (2, page 87)

  • helps Scrum Teams to frame hypotheses and experiments with thinking about what they are trying to achieve and how they will measure it
  • helps teams to be mindful of assumptions
We believe [doing this feature] for [these personas] will achieve [this outcome]. We will know that this is true when we see [this measurement] changed.

Value and Growth Hypotheses (3, page 61)

  • Value hypothesis: tests whether product delivers value to a customer (experiment, not survey) 
  • Growth hypothesis: tests how new customers will discover product/ service (find early adopters – people who need the product the most – they will be eager to feedback)

Experiment Stories (1, page 127)

  • Hypothesis you’re testing or the thing you’re trying to learn
  • Tactic(s) for learning (e.g. interviews/ a/b testing) 
  • Who will do the work 
  • A level of effort estimate (e.g. story points) 
We believe that asking new users MORE questions during registration will increase complete profiles. 
Tactic: landing page test & customer interviews 
Assigned to: UX, PDM

Hypothesis Creation Workshop (1, page 32 – 43)


Whole Team


Must have a problem statement before this

  1. Brainstorm small outcomes that will lead to the big outcome(s) in the problem statement (e.g. what behaviours will predict more downloads?)
    • Vote all together on priority (have a decider in the room if necessary) 
  2. Create a personas
    • Validate these personas
  3. Create user outcome (assumption of what the user is trying to do) 
    • E.g. How does our product or service get the user closer to a life goal or dream?
  4. Brainstorm features to meet these user outcomes
  5. Assemble what you have created in steps 1-4 into the hypothesis table (below)
    • Fill in the gaps in the table as you find them
    • Between 7 and 10 rows on the chart is a good starting point
    • Ensure that the hypothesis you create out of this focuses on 1 feature (multi-feature hypotheses are hard to test)
We will achieve…if this user……can achieve……with this feature
[business outcome][persona][user outcome][feature]


  1. Lean UX by Jeff Gothelf
  2. Mastering Professional Scrum by Stephanie Ockerman and Simon Reindl
  3. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

Explore more

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7 thoughts on “Value Proposition/ Hypothesis

  1. Pingback: Product Backlog
  2. Pingback: Product Metrics
  3. Pingback: Value Statements

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