What comes to mind when you think of the scientific method? For some, it evokes memories of their former science classroom (bunsen burners, graduated cylinders, and beakers).  For others, it may energize — the opportunity to establish facts through testing and experimentation!  

The good news is that the scientific method is not just for scientific research. We’re going to break it down and demonstrate how you can use it to build and strengthen your community. 

No matter your relationship to the scientific method, by the end of this article you’ll be able to apply the ‘Community Scientific Method’ in six steps: 

  1. Define your problem
  2. Do your research 
  3. Form your hypothesis 
  4. Test your hypothesis
  5. Analyze your results 
  6. Modify and repeat 

By applying the scientific method to community building, we can identify and resolve problems more effectively. This article will give you a slice of the action by showing you the scientific method applied to the pizza making community.

All You Knead-to-Know

Pizza is arguably one of the most beloved dishes around the world, after all, it's been around for centuries (dating back to as far as the 1700s). 

With so many different approaches and techniques, we’re going to demonstrate how to build a community using the scientific method for the pizza makers themselves aka the Pizzaiolo Community!  

| Pizzaiolo (piz·​za·​io·​lo) noun: a pizza makerLearn how to use the scientific method to build a community of pizzaiolos.

Community for Pizza Makers

Step 1: Define Your Problem

As obvious as it sounds, to solve a problem, you first need to identify what the problem is, and then you can formulate a plan for how you are going to solve it. 

Here are some questions that you should ask yourself: 

  • What issue are you trying to solve with your community?
  • Is there a particular need that isn't being met? 
  • Are there disparities that you'd like to address?

    Defining the problem for the Pizzaiolo Community:

    • Problem: Apprenticeship is the key to becoming a great pizzaiolo
    • Need: Pizza makers don’t have a community to connect with other pizzaiolos 
    • Disparities: There is not an easy way to apply to apprenticeships in the pizza industry

Step 2: Do Your Research

Do Your Research

Now that you have identified the problem, it is time to do some research. By gathering information about the problem, you can begin to develop a deeper understanding of it. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself: 

  • What does the data say about this issue? 
  • Who is most affected by it? 
  • What are some potential causes?
  • Are there other communities that are solving this problem? 
  • What makes your community distinct?

    Researching the Pizzaiolo Community this is what we found: 

    • Data: ~83K+ results for Pizza Maker positions on Linkedin without targeted reach to the broader pizza maker community. There are ~135+ ongoing Airbnb Pizza Making Experiences 
    • Affected: 845,650 employees in the US Pizza Restaurants in 2022
    • Causes: 2.5% growth for Pizza Restaurants in the US Employment in 2022
    • Other Communities: Based on our initial research, we identified the Pizzaiolo Tribe as the leading community in the doughmain for the best aficiona-doughs around. 
    • Difference: With Hivebrite, we would use the group, mentoring, and event modules to enhance relationship building between pizza makers, pizza places, artisans, and of course the biggest fans across the industry.

Step 3: Form Your Hypothesis

As a result of the research you've done, you need to formulate a hypothesis by answering the following questions:

  • What theory can you form to explain the issue? 
  • What are some potential solutions that you could test?

    Our hypothesis for the pizzaiolo community: 

    • Theory: There are not many places that the pizzaiolo community can gather meaningfully. Apprenticeship is highly sought after but with the lack of places for the community to share knowledge, experiences, insights, and opportunities there is a need for a community-led approach in the industry. 
    • Solution: Build a pizza professionals coalition where pizza enthusiasts can come together to choose the community solutions that make the most sense for their development. Additionally, this would be an opportunity for pizza professionals to host their own community-led-events for a lower commission fee than Airbnb. 

Step 4: Test Your Hypothesis

After forming a hypothesis, you should begin testing it by asking the following questions to gather data about the issue:

  • How can you test your theory with your community?
  • What are some potential obstacles that you might encounter?

Testing the hypothesis for the Pizzaiolo Community: 

  • Test: To test this community we would recommend first building a minimum viable community with stakeholders across the industry.

    Here are the steps we would take: 
    • Set goals to describe the impact for both members and community 
    • Interview to validate your instincts with user interviews
    • Create your calendar and content cadence for a minimum launch
    • Activate early adopters and exclusive members
  • Obstacles: The biggest obstacle we may face is getting pizza makers online. With an average of only 8 people working at a pizzeria, this industry has the ability to feel small, but remain large and well connected at the same time.

Step 5: Analyze the Results

Analyze the Results

Once you've gathered data from your test, it's time to analyze the results. By analyzing the results, you can begin to modify your hypothesis. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself: 

  • What do the results of your test tell you about your hypothesis? 
  • What are some potential next steps that you can take? 

In action this would mean looking at our test results and examining the obstacles that we have overcome so far. 

Step 6: Modify and Repeat

Once you've analyzed the results of your test, it's time to modify your hypothesis. By modifying your hypothesis again and again, you'll keep gathering data and building on what you're learning. 

Here's what you might want to ask yourself: 

  • What have you learned from the data that you've gathered? 
  • What are some potential changes that you can make to your hypothesis? 

Final Thoughts

The scientific method is one of the most powerful tools that can be used to identify and solve problems within our communities and to make improvements to them. 

As long as we take the time to define the problem, do our research, form a hypothesis, and test it, we will continue to develop a deeper understanding of the problems that our members face early on to build the best community possible.

Hivebrite is an all-in-one community management platform. We empower organizations of all sizes and sectors to launch, manage and grow fully branded private communities. Schedule a demo today!

Written by Morgan Wood
How to Create a Content Strategy for Your Community

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