Long ago, a speaker in Dallas said that if you are trying to find a success that has not been discovered yet, make small investments more often rather than one huge investment that may miss.

He likened it to shooting arrows at a target that sits down range in a fog. You can not see the target. You can shoot an arrow and possibly hear a "thunk" noise as the arrow hits the target or no sound as the arrow misses the hidden target. His point was that instead a single large golden or carbon fiber expensive arrow, with great hopes shot into the fog, make many smaller cheaper arrows of bamboo or wood and shoot in a consistent pattern to try to find the target. "Once you hear thunk," he said, "then you can shoot all your remaining arrows at the location that succeeded."

When trying process changes, make experiments in small sizes and see what the data shows before expanding. This may lead to smaller failures early on, with a larger return once you hit the target and can repeatedly shoot at the target. This small-test approach also allows you more experiment cycles and team learning within the available budget.


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