Prepare

Upfront preparation helps make for successful Laterals. This consists of establishing roles, defining expectations, analyzing competitors, and setting up the environment.

Learn

This is about gathering all existing information on the business, the customer and the problem we’re trying to solve. We’ll expose our assumptions and knowledge gaps. We’ll work on defining customer motivations, what success looks like, and what competitors are doing. At the end, the team will have captured the activities required to solve the problem.

Explore

We want to explore as many possibilities as we can. Valuable insight is gained by opening up to ideas, big and small, practical and far-reaching. From this, we’re able to consider multiple perspectives and approaches to solving the problem. We also start the process of eliminating options as stronger approaches surface to the top.

Refine

Our goal is to take all the possibilities we identified and hone in on a single approach that we’ll focus on building in the next phase. The type of build will be based on the relationship between our biggest assumptions and how to best validate them.

Build

During this phase we’ll often build a prototype - sometimes we’ll create a report - sometimes it’s a pitch deck. The goal is to create something that packages the idea in the most valuable way to move it forward. Prototypes won’t be overly polished as you’ll want to get a full user-flow created quickly. Reports will contain all technical information and an initial scope outline. Pitch decks are useful if the next step means presenting to investors.

Validate

The last phase of the Lateral is to test our assumptions and the reactions to the build. For prototypes, we’ll want to get it in front of users. For reports, we’ll want feedback from your team so we can iterate as necessary. For pitch decks, we’ll want to record feedback and reposition the idea if a different approach is needed.