The concept of strategic planning is a popular one among new businesses in Hong Kong, which is the idea that if you plan ahead of time, you may forecast and control everything.
However, a changing environment, uncertainty, and confusion abound when it comes to starting a new project necessitate an entirely different approach to planning – Introducing strategic testing.
In this article, we’ll explore the question of strategic planning and how it contrasts with a testing approach. Later on, we will introduce “Strategic Testing” which has been gaining prominence over the last few years in places like Silicon Valley.
The Problem of Stategic Planning
The biggest problem with strategic planning is that it is a linear process.
Strategic Planning has a set of long-term goals and a series of milestones to reach those goals.
This approach might be too rigid for your business, where uncertainty and change are key to success. New opportunities might not fit into the strategic plan very well either. The strategy might not be flexible enough to allow for new ideas and avenues, which can lead to failure in the long run.
Planning to Test
Before we discuss strategic testing, we can discuss its advantages
1- It encourages you to experiment.
2- Allows for cross-pollination of ideas
3- Encourages creativity
So what is strategic testing?
Strategic testing is a way of developing your business by taking it through a series of tests.
In this process, you can establish some “testing metrics” that will help you decide the best direction to take. These metrics can be used in concert with resources and capital to ensure your business continues down its most successful path.
In contrast to strategic planning, which aims to forecast what would perform well, in strategic testing we allow the market to guide us in determining what it desires, how it wants it done, and how we may deliver it.
Let’s say you are planning a new sunglasses brand. Classic strategic planning will require you to develop the idea, design the sunglasses, analyze market forces, create a distribution plan, develop a marketing plan including 3 years of budgeting, and finally go out into the market.
Strategic testing will not require you to spend time and resources on making plans upfront. A testing approach will encourage you to develop a prototype of your sunglasses, test the market by showing it to potential customers, distributors and partners, allow for feedback and revisions, and then expand in the market when ready.
While strategic planning requires you to commit resources in advance and leave much less room for change, strategic testing allows you to change, a lot.
What is Luxu’s approach to strategic testing?
We define our agency as the “anti-planning” agency. We believe in changing quickly, having the flexibility to adjust our direction, and working within our customer’s demands. We work closely with you to understand your requirements and then take the time to develop the best testing strategy for you. Once we’ve achieved that, we begin executing on it immediately. Our core value is speed.
We can summarize our approach to 4 steps:
1- Identify what we are trying to test – We need to understand what would generate the highest impact
2- Develop the necessary metrics
3- Conduct the test
4- Interpret the results, implement and start a new test