How to improve remote meeting productivity in one sentence

Build a hypothesis to provide context

A person drawing a hierarchical diagram in a journal. There are words at the top of the diagram and arrows pointing down.
Photo by My Life Journal on Unsplash

Why: Agile vs documentation

If your business organization is Agile or Lean-based, you might have seen an organizational struggle with one of its’ key tenets.

How: Using hypotheses to address concerns

What’s the first thing you think of when I talk about a hypothesis?

For [user group(s)], if [change] then [effect] because [rationale], which will impact [measure].

We predict that [doing this/building this feature/creating this experience] for [these people/personas] will achieve [these outcomes] because of [these reasons]. We will know this is true when we see [this impact to our metric of interest].

In both of these, we’re not just addressing changes: we’re providing context on some of the major changes that might result from this, and tying our actions to a larger goal.

What: Building a hypothesis

Let’s say that you’re in the middle of doing research and testing, and you want to talk about the results.

For [adults age 18–34], if [we change our default page to be mobile-focused] then we suspect we will [have higher engagement rates] because [more people in this age range are used to mobile sites], which will impact [Multiple unknown metrics at this time].

Now let’s look at what this hypothesis does for the Why-How-What of the situation.

We predict that [building a chatbot feature] for [these unknown people/personas] will achieve [Increased user engagement] because of [these unknown reasons]. We will know this is true when we see [this impact on our metric of interest].

Why are you building this feature? We suspect that it will increase user engagement, but we’re not sure why. We also don’t know how it will impact our metrics.

Defining progress in a remote setting

Remote work meetings are a learning process, and one of the things that many people have to learn is communicating progress within the team settings.

Top writer in UX Design. UX, Data Visualization and Data Science. Author of Data Persuasion: https://tinyurl.com/rndb9bw. Substack: dataanddesign.substack.com

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