Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Feed Forward Loop - A learning process

The Feed Forward loop is a process to become a “Learning Organization”. Successful teams and eventually successful businesses are those that learn the most in the least time.

I call it the “Feed Forward Loop” because it’s purpose is to fuel the next cycle. It’s a forward looking cycle that aims to deliver scientific learning in every loop. Every initiative that an agile team starts must be targeted towards increasing learning in the shortest possible time. For example, you should aim to learn more about the customer, the business, the market, etc. As you know, learning is best accomplished by doing. The Feed Forward Loop facilitates that.

There are four steps in the loop:

1. Hypothesize
State your assumption for the initiative that you are about to launch. What do you intend to achieve? What are your success/fail criteria?

2. Test
Devise a method to test the initiative. 

3. Measure
Measure the outcome of your test. Did it pass or fail? Did it validate your hypothesis?

4. Learn
This is the key to the initiative. Whether the initiative succeeds or fails, there’s always lessons to be learned. Use this learning to kick off the next cycle.