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60 minutes Introduction to Hypothesis Driven Software Development

How to find initial data for your user stories to ensure you are moving in the right direction

Kylie Castellaw
Maryam Aidini

Have you ever worked on a software delivery team where the team needs to work on a complex and large feature without fully knowing if this is the right thing to do or if the feature will deliver the anticipated value? This can be very concerning especially if we are investing a lot of time and effort to make it happen. How can you minimize the risk and ensure you are moving forward with the right feature?

In this course, we will introduce a technique called Hypothesis driven development which helps you find some initial data for your user stories to ensure you are in the right direction to deliver the customer/business value and if not, what could be the right direction. We will walk you through a case study to show that it’s also a great framework to encourage the team to think honestly about how to measure success of the product they build through setting some metrics for each task/user story.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

By the end of this live, hands-on, online course, you’ll understand:

  • The details of Hypothesis driven development including the format for user stories and how to define and frame hypothesis in the stories
  • The benefit of Hypothesis driven development technique for the team and the project
  • Things to consider in your project when using Hypothesis Driven Development
  • A more clear understanding of this method by going through a real life case study

And you’ll be able to:

  • Identify the hypothesis in your project/product
  • Write user stories in format of Hypothesis Driven Development
  • Identify the key metrics to measure the success of each user story/task

This training course is for you because...

  • You’re on a software team that has had trouble with understanding the value of stories
  • You’ve been tasked to develop a feature and you are not sure if this is the right feature
  • You’re a product manager that wants to build a successful product
  • You are part of a collaborative cross functional team who wants to learn about how to measure success of a user story/task


  • Basic understanding of Agile software delivery

Recommended preparation:

Recommended follow-up:

About your instructor

  • Kylie Castellaw is a lead product manager and design researcher at ThoughtWorks, where she coaches Fortune 500 and nonprofit teams to work leanly in portfolio planning, product development, concept ideation, and experience design. She’s always loved science and art and came to the Lean practice as a UX designer/researcher and cognitive psychologist.

  • Maryam Aidini is a lead product manager at ThoughtWorks, where she spends her time coaching enterprise clients in the portfolio management, product definition, and the software delivery phases of their product lifecycles. She started her career as a software engineer and has worked with many teams over the years to deliver software products using Lean and Agile practices.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

  • Introduction (5 min)
  • Definition of Hypothesis Driven development and the background (10 min)
  • How to frame Hypotheses (5 min)
  • Traditional user stories vs hypothesis driven stories (5 min)
  • Advantages of Hypothesis Driven Development ( 5 min)
  • Things to consider for Hypothesis Driven Development (5 min)
  • Case study (10 min)
  • Q&A (10 min)