I like to refer to the scientific method because it’s an effective strategy to answer a question you’re interested in investigating.
You start with a question, conduct research to acquire context, and identify the variables involved with that question or the dynamics at play. You then develop a hypothesis, which is a statement that you want to prove or disprove, ensuring that you construct your hypothesis to demonstrate a cause-and-effect relationship. For example, a well-structured hypothesis could be: Getting eight hours of sleep at night reduces my need to drink coffee in the morning to become and remain alert. Ask yourself: What am I changing (the cause or independent variable) to create an outcome (the effect or dependent variable) that I’m trying to validate or invalidate?
Once you run the experiment based on the hypothesis, you need to confirm that you ran the experiment properly, look at its results, and seek key insights from it. You may then change your hypothesis because you’ve learned something that helps you refine it and run a new experiment, or you may want to create an entirely new hypothesis because you’ve disproven the original one. If you’ve proven the hypothesis, you will want to rerun the experiment multiple times to validate your findings.
The last step is implementing change based on the lessons learned.