Continuous Discovery Habits - Deepstash
Delivery vs Discovery

Agile methodologies revolutionized how products are being built. But building is just half of the problem. Deciding what to build is just as (if not more) important. 

Deciding what to...

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Continuous Discovery Habits

Continuous Discovery Habits

by Teresa Torres

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Customer Discovery requires a certain mindset. That is more important than a framework:

  1. Outcome-oriented: success should be defined by the impact of the code not the qua...

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  1. Begin with the end in mind. Decide the main business outcomes that require discovery.
  2. Assemble the team, a trio (ideally) made of a product manager, a...

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Opportunities (Not Problems)

We are thought that products have to solve problems to be valuable (vitamin vs aspirin analogy). But the best products started without a clear problem to solve. Facebook, Disney etc....

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The Opportunity Solution Tree

Is a simple way to visually represent the path one may take to reach a milestone. It is the main system of record for tracking the discovery process:

  • The root of the tree is the desired ...

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"Should we build this feature?" is a question product people ask themselves a lot. It's a mistake. 

  • Instead, develop a "compare and contrast" mindset. Ask instead "...

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Managing by outcome is only as good as the defined outcome. There are 3 types, starting from the general to the actionable:

  • Business outcomes start with financial metric...

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  • They are negotiated between the team of designers, product & engineering people on one hand, and the leadership.
  • Ambitious outcomes work better than SMART goals. 
  • Some learning...

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Visualize what you know: Experience Map

It represents an artifact that helps a team uncover opportunities. It starts with a question related to the outcome (for example "how do people entrain themselves with videos?" if the goal...

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Keystone Discovery Habit: Continuous Interviewing

Customers don't know what they want but talking to them is still useful. "What needs, pain points or desires matter the most?" is the fundamental question:

  • Instead of direct que...

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Opportunity Mapping

The insights from interviews should allow a product team to evolve a map of opportunities that could be considered for solutions:

  • The map is presented as a tree. Some parent opportunitie...

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Once the product team decides to pursue an opportunity solutions can be considered:

  • Avoid brainstorming - an illusion of group productivity. Groups generate few similar mediocre ideas. B...

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The Hidden Assumptions

Every proposed solution is based on assumptions, which are hard to spot. One way to spot them is to imagine the solution is already functional and then draw a story map with all the steps. Assumpti...

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