Product management glosary

Lean experimentation

What is Lean Experimentation?


Lean experimentation is a methodology used by product managers to validate their ideas and assumptions about a product. It involves testing hypotheses through quick and low-cost experiments to gather data and insights that can inform product development decisions.

The Lean Startup Movement

The concept of lean experimentation is closely associated with the lean startup movement, which was popularized by Eric Ries in his book, "The Lean Startup." The book advocates for a scientific approach to product development, where product managers treat their ideas as hypotheses that need to be tested and validated before investing significant resources in them.

The Lean Experimentation Process

The lean experimentation process involves several steps: 1. Define the hypothesis: The product manager starts by defining a hypothesis that they want to test. This hypothesis should be specific, measurable, and relevant to the product's goals. 2. Design the experiment: The product manager then designs an experiment that will test the hypothesis. The experiment should be quick, low-cost, and provide meaningful data. 3. Conduct the experiment: The product manager conducts the experiment and collects data. This could involve user surveys, A/B testing, or other methods. 4. Analyze the data: The product manager analyzes the data collected from the experiment to determine whether the hypothesis was validated or not. 5. Iterate: Based on the results of the experiment, the product manager can iterate on the product and refine their hypothesis.

The Benefits of Lean Experimentation

Lean experimentation offers several benefits to product managers: 1. Reduced risk: By testing hypotheses through quick and low-cost experiments, product managers can reduce the risk of investing significant resources in an unproven idea. 2. Faster time to market: Lean experimentation allows product managers to quickly validate their ideas and make informed decisions about product development, which can speed up the time to market. 3. Improved product-market fit: By gathering data and insights from experiments, product managers can better understand their target market and improve the product's fit with customer needs.


Lean experimentation is a valuable methodology for product managers looking to validate their ideas and assumptions about a product. By treating their ideas as hypotheses and testing them through quick and low-cost experiments, product managers can reduce risk, speed up time to market, and improve product-market fit.