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Validated learning is a unit of progress process and describes learnings generated by trying out an initial idea and then measuring it against potential customers to validate the effect. Each test of an idea is a single iteration in a larger process of many iterations whereby something is learnt and then applied to succeeding tests. The term coined in the lean startup scene, but it can be applied universally.
Validated learning is especially popular on the web, where analytics software can track visitor behavior and give accurate statistics and insight on how website features work in reality. Validated learning can, however, be applied to anything; one just needs to be innovative on what to use as metrics.
Typical steps in validated learning:
- Specify a goal
- Specify a metric that represents the goal
- Act to achieve the goal
- Analyze the metric – did you get closer to the goal?
- Improve and try again
To specify a goal, SMART target finding could apply.