In engineering, graphic design, and other fields there is a common methodology: iterative design. In business, life, and individual projects, it’s very unlikely that everything will go right the first time. By utilizing the thinking behind iterative design though, we can make it more likely that we get to success quickly. Let’s check out how we can put that into action.
What is Iterative Design?
Iterative design is a process that involves a cyclical pattern of creating, analyzing, and then adapting. Typically this is paired with other methodologies, such as creating Minimum Viable Products (MVPs), to allow for quick and efficient creation. By following this iterative pattern and pairing it with a minimal design, we are able to build upon our projects, even when they don’t work out.
Keeping Risk at Bay
It’s a well-known statistic that nearly 80% of small businesses will fail within their first 2 years of operation. Why this happens is a culmination of many things, one of which is the steep learning curve associated with being an entrepreneur. In the classic business method you would develop a single product offering or service to start, investing most of your capital and time into that sole idea. By doing this, most of your risk is placed on a single idea, only allowing for a few minor fixes to be carried out.
This is where the beauty of iterative design comes into play. Instead of putting all of your resources into a single push, we are now planning for multiple stages. Sure, this means that our first attempt won’t have the stellar potential of the more traditional way of business, but it does mitigate our chances of failure, allowing for several attempts using the same resources.
Reusing Your Failures
Beyond simply giving more chances at having a successful business, each stage of attempts also builds off of the one before it. Through analysis at each stage of your business, every further move is more likely to be the right one because of this utilization of data and experience. To utilize this kind of thinking in your own business, it is necessary to relentlessly gather data within your business and to consider all of your adjacent options.
Does Your Business Practice Iterative Design?
By using a systematic and iterative approach, any daunting business task can be surmounted with time. Do you have your own examples of when iterative design has been useful to your business? Let us know in the comments!