A way of carrying out a particular task. Often comes as a detailed set of step-by-step instructions on what to do. Often used as a synonym for ‘method’.

If you have a good technique, then you are very skillful or you have found an efficient way of doing or achieving something in your particular field. Just think of an artist and her secret painting technique or a codified repeatable scientific procedure like CRISPR/Cas9.

Analogous examples in the area of lean innovation could be the different interview scripts for Problem-, Solution-, and MVP-Interview , which are very popular in the Lean Startup community. Or ‘best practice’ on how to create a converting landing page with AIDA, or how to best perform A/B tests and analyze cohorts. But also testing and brainstorming techniques in design thinking come to mind. Just think of the Disney Method, the Six Thinking Hats, Reverse Brainstorming, or even the general Brainstorming Rules.

Techniques sometimes get confused with principles. In design thinking for example, for the past 15 years now we’ve found that the aforementioned rules, which are part of brainstorming techniques, are purported by novices, educators and consultants alike as the ‘design thinking mindset’. This, of course, is nonsense and at worst leads to confused situations, like design thinking novices warning their users to ‘defer judgment’ while testing (yes, we’ve seen it all). But techniques certainly help to operationalize certain principles of a methodology. In the case of the design thinking brainstorming rules, it would enforce the ‘multidisciplinary nature’ of teamwork with its ‘diverse viewpoints’ to arrive at a better solution.

As mentioned before: we pragmatically use the terms method and technique synonymously in our work.


Maurya, A. (2012). Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works (2nd ed.). O’Reilly and Associates.