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Having the right framework and process in place makes 80% of the work in product management.

Continuous Discovery Habits

Continuous Discovery Habits

by Teresa Torres

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The definition of Continuous Discovery

What is Continuous Discovery? It is a product management framework for embedding customer input on every product decision. 

You know when a company does Continuous Discovery when members building the product have weekly discovery calls with customers to reach a desired outcome. 

The mindset of Continuous Discovery

To make this a reality, a team needs to live by: 

a) Being outcome-oriented: to think about the value they provide rather than the output

b) Being visual: expressing  ideas not only through written/spoken words, but also by drawing

c) Thinking in continuous terms: to regard res...

How to start

The most important thing to clarify is the outcome, which should be narrow enough to be managed by the team realistically, but large enough open new opportunities.

When exploring a new discovery space, the Product Trio (Developer, Designer, PO, but not limited to these roles) should start ...

Continuous Interviewing

When interviewing users, do not ask them direct questions, but try to elicit stories and past experiences. 

Once they start remembering events, dig deeper and excavate these stories in more detail to capture the full experience. Set this expectation from the beginning with the user.

D...

Outcomes

Metrics that can be used in product management:

  • Business Outcomes (measures business value): e.g. number of customers, retention, number of users
  • Product Outcomes (measures how the business value is created through product): e.g. time saved performing an action, satisfaction du...

Recruiting for interviews

Ideas to recruit for continuing interviewing

  • ask support from customer success teams: If a customer calls to cancel their subscription, schedule an interview; If a customer has a question about feature x, schedule an interview; If a customer requests a customization, schedule an interv...

Opportunity-Solution Tree (OST)

Imagine the problems users have as trees. 

The root of a tree is a big problem, that causes multiple other problems/branches to arise. Every branch needs to be different from the others, otherwise, it needs to be rethought. 

To decide whether an opportunity belongs to a tree, we need ...

Anti-Patterns of OST

  • Vertical Opportunities - not recommended, either add multiple branches into one root or do more research on sibling opportunities
  • Multiple parents -no opportunity should have two parents
  • Opportunities not specific - wishes and feelings do not constitute opportunities (eg I wi...

  1. Assess your first level opportunities by contrasting them against each other. 
  2. Do the same for the children of the opportunities until you reach one you'd like to test

Criteria:

  • Number of users and customers affected
  • Frequency of the problem
  • Mar...

Identifying Hidden Assumptions

Different types of assumptions can exist for an idea: 

  • Desirability: Is the product wanted by users or has it been only mentioned once in a discussion? 
  • Viability: Is the idea realistic for the business? Even the most desirable idea is not worth investing in if it is not profit...

Story-map solutions to find assumptions

First, we imagine an existing solution for the opportunity. We map users and write the steps they need to do in the solution sequentially over time (e.g. User comes to create content -> Users opens the editing mode -> User edits content -> User publishes content)

For each step we start wri...

Prioritising Assumptions

Not all assumptions need to be tested. To identify what is more critical at this moment, we can prioritise them on a quadrant, in which horizontally we have scale of evidence (how much evidence we have for it to be true) and vertically importance of the assumption (how critical it is to happen so...

Running Assumption Tests

A team can run around 15-20 discovery iterations a week. The tools that should be in a team's toolbox are:

  • unmoderated user testing: allows you to test a prototype with participants at their own time, for which you get a video of their work
  • one-question surveys
  • database...

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