Solutions are meaningful only when they solve very well thought out problems. On day 1 we narrow down on the most pressing business problems worth solving.
The pitch brings everyone in the team on the same page. In 2 minute or less, the product owner defines the 3-5 year vision for the product. Who is it for? What does it solve? What is the business opportunity?
In the next 20 minutes, the product owner then defines all foreseeable problems in the next 6 months, to ensure the team is on the right path to accomplish the mission.
Next, we create a journey map with a focus on the touch-points where the user might come in contact with the product or service. We define key stages of interaction in the journey along with activities performed by the user in each stage. Additional actors or service layers that contribute to the activities are also mapped out. A graph reflecting the emotions of the user at every touchpoint is also baked in to the map.
How Might We…
For the pitch to become a reality, it’s likely that a lot of problems will have to be addressed. In the next hour, every member of the team reviews the shared research and records all the problems they can think of in the form of “How Might We” questions. A good “How Might We” question should neither be too broad nor too narrow. The idea, is to sharply articulate specific problems without hinting at potential solutions.
After going through the existing research, the team calls in experts (think people from sales, marketing, customer support etc) and interviews them, while the team continues to jot down more “How Might We” questions.
The team captures all relevant problems in one single board by going through a series of simple steps.
- Cluster and reframe: The team clusters similar “How Might We” questions under a few themes, removes duplicates and improves their articulation. This exercise should not only reduce the number of questions, but also improve their quality.
- Define success criteria: For each reframed “How Might We” question, the team defines a success criterion. For example, the success of the solution for - “How might we make the user interested in the product description?” can be measured by tracking the time she spends on the product details page during the user study. Questions that might lead to unmeasurable solutions should be dropped at this stage.
- Pick winners: The team decides on the number of problems they want to tackle in the sprint and cast their individual votes accordingly. The top 2-3 problems which receive the maximum number of votes are selected. These are the problems that the team tries solving in the next 4 days.
At the end of the day’s work, everyone is asked to come prepared the next day with a few examples of solutions that address the chosen problems. It’s a good idea to look for inspiration outside the direct problem space and see how other industries have solved similar problems.