“Teams that build continuous discovery into their DNA will become smarter than their investors, and build more successful companies.“Steve Blank, Creator of the Customer Development framework

There are thousands of ways to learn from your users and customers to move your business forward.

Unfortunately, without a plan and the desire to bring continuous discovery and learning inside your organization, it is difficult to create true predictable growth.

To keep learning and growing, you’ll want to move from project-based customer research to continuous research—scouting new opportunities, and re-visiting assumptions when new information comes into light.

You should use the scientific method to test ideas, expose assumptions, and refine your hypotheses. Unfortunately, unlike scientific experiments, customer research rarely uncovers absolute truths.

While the best way to ensure continuous learning inside organizations is to have product teams do continuous discovery, there are other ways to gradually build your organization’s capabilities, starting with:

Introducing Continuous Discovery in Your Organization Step by Step

  1. Hiring (and empowering) a product discovery coach or freelance researchers;
  2. Zeroing in on the most valuable elements of the customer research process and hiring consultants to deliver on that expertise;
  3. Hiring for expertise once the business case for continuous learning has gained traction;
  4. Creating a center of excellence to help share information and standardize practices across projects and product teams;
  5. Adding product discovery to your product development processes; and
  6. Making customer research and testing acceptance criteria for new product development.

Your goal is to establish processes which help you learn how to overcome hurdles, which reduce uncertainty, and which point out gaps in your knowledge.

The value of continuous learning is huge. NFX managing partner Gigi Levy-Weiss explains: “Assume that in every iteration a learning organization gets 10% better than a non-learning one. The compounding effect post 10 iterations makes it 2.5x faster than the non-learning competitor.”

Start gradually introducing continuous discovery processes in your organization, and start seeing growth compound.

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This post in an excerpt from Solving Product. If you enjoyed the content, you'll love the new book. You can download the first 3 chapters here →.

Categories: Common Challenges