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The danger of assumptions and presumptions

An assumption is a belief or statement that is accepted as true without proof. In business and decision making, assumptions are often used as a starting point for predictions or plans. They may be based on previous experience, expert opinion, or other available data.

Assumptions are a common part of the problem-solving process and are often used in situations where there is a lack of complete information. When developing a new business model, for example, an entrepreneur may make assumptions about the size of the target market, the pricing of their product, or the feasibility of their revenue streams. These assumptions serve as the basis for the plan and are used to make predictions and inform decisions.

Assumptions, however, are not always accurate and can lead to incorrect conclusions and decisions if not carefully reviewed. It is important to recognize that assumptions are not facts, but conjectures, and to understand the degree of certainty on which assumptions are based. To ensure that assumptions are accurate, it is important to validate them through research, testing, and analysis.

What are the differences in assumptions?

There are two types of assumptions: explicit and implicit. An explicit assumption is an assumption that is clearly and directly stated. An implicit assumption is an assumption that is not stated directly, but is inferred from context or from the information provided. Implicit assumptions are often more difficult to detect and can be the cause of unexpected results.

It is also worth noting that assumptions can sometimes be limiting and that it is important to question them, especially when they are taken for granted. By challenging assumptions, you may be able to find new opportunities and more effective solutions.

In summary, an assumption is a statement that is accepted as true without proof. Assumptions are a common part of decision making and problem solving, but it is important to recognize that they are not facts and to verify them through research, testing, and analysis. Knowing the difference between explicit and implicit assumptions and being aware of the limiting nature of assumptions can lead to new possibilities and more effective solutions.

Assumptions in the Design Thinking process

Assumptions play an important role in the Design Thinking process as they have a strong influence on decision making and solution development. They are the starting point for understanding user needs. Assumptions are necessary to gain a basic understanding of user needs and expectations. At the beginning of the design thinking process, participants in a design thinking workshop may make assumptions about what users want or need based on their past experience or knowledge of the market.

In fact, one of the main tasks in design thinking is to identify and challenge assumptions. Designers need to be aware of the assumptions they are making and how they affect their decisions. Through user interviews, observations, and other data collection methods, designers can test their assumptions and adjust them as necessary.

In the design thinking process, assumptions are often formulated as hypotheses that can be tested and verified. These hypotheses help participants systematically develop and evaluate their ideas and solutions. By viewing their assumptions as hypotheses, they can iteratively improve their solutions based on the insights they gain during testing.

One of the central ideas of design thinking is that participants should constantly question and test their assumptions to ensure that they are based on valid information. By challenging assumptions, they can broaden their perspective, discover unexpected possibilities, and develop better solutions.

One of the biggest challenges in design thinking is to avoid misconceptions that can lead to inadequate or ineffective solutions. Design thinking encourages designers to critically question their assumptions and be open to new insights and perspectives to avoid such misconceptions.

Handwritten by Christian Buchholz