How to validate assumptions?


In the last few posts, we covered:

As a Project Sponsor, you must ensure that the project team documents all assumptions. If you are already getting your team to record assumptions on an ongoing basis, it is excellent work. Well done for that!

The next step is to validate your assumptions. You need to validate assumptions to ensure if the assumptions are realistic or hold true. So, the question is how to validate the assumptions?

Let us get into it!

How to validate assumptions?

There are multiple ways to validate the assumptions. Note that it takes time and effort to validate assumptions. Therefore choose the best practical method(s):

  1. Ask: Ask others (related parties) if your assumption is correct or realistic. Ask for their experiences, documentation, proof etc.
  2. Test: Undertake small and controlled tests and note inferences to validate if your assumptions are correct.
  3. Research: Research other’s experiences, feedback and work done before your project
  4. Confirmation: Seek confirmation from the authority (vendor, regulatory organisation) to ensure your assumption is correct.
  5. Brainstorm: Two minds are much better than one! So, brainstorm if the assumptions are valid

There may be an additional way to validate assumptions. In any digital systems implementation, assumptions management is key. As a Sponsor, you must take the time to get all assumptions in a separate log. Then work with your Project Manager to validate assumptions at the appropriate time. Never take anything at its face value. Be on top of all assumptions throughout the project lifecycle!