Continuous Discovery Habits Summary 2023 - Deepstash

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Continuous Discovery Habits Summary

About Continuous Discovery Habits Book

"If you haven't had the good fortune to be coached by a strong leader or product coach, this book can help fill that gap and set you on the path to success."

- Marty Cagan

How do you know that you are making a product or service that your customers want? How do you ensure that you are improving it over time? How do you guarantee that your team is creating value for your customers in a way that creates value for your business?

In this book, you'll learn a structured and sustainable approach to continuous discovery that will help you answer each of these questions, giving you the confidence to act while also preparing you to be wrong. You'll learn to balance action with doubt so that you can get started without being blindsided by what you don't get right.

If you want to discover products that customers love-that also deliver business results-this book is for you.

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Continuous Discovery Habits by Teresa Torres

4.6/5 (3304 reviews)

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Delivery vs Discovery

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 build is discovery. Shipping is delivery. 

Discovery needs to be treated as an activity on its own. With clear activities, tracking and deliverables, just as we do with delivering working products.

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Mindsets For Customer Discovery

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 quantity of the code.
  2. Customer-centric: the user is the key shareholder.
  3. Collaborative: no more of the "PdM decides, the designer designs & the engineer builds" approach.
  4. Visual: more imagery and mapping and less written ideas.
  5. Experimental: ship experiments not features.
  6. Continuous: Customer discovery never ends. 

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Continuous Discovery Framework

  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 designer & an engineer.
  3. To reach the desired outcome(s), a product trio must discover & explore the opportunity space. This is done using continuous interviewing and experience maps.
  4. Opportunities are constantly evolved and ranked.
  5. Finally, discover the solutions that will address those opportunities and thus drive our desired outcome.

Only then delivery can begin. 

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In Continuous Discovery Habits, Teresa Torres provides a framework for constantly discovering and validating new product opportunities through customer development interviews and rapid experiments.

Establishing Core Discovery Routines Across Teams

Establishing Core Discovery Routines Across Teams

Incorporate continuous discovery practices like interviewing customers, brainstorming new ideas, and running rapid experiments into core routines done by all teams individually and company-wide.

Make practices like talking to users, generating hypotheses, and prototyping concepts an ongoing habit rather than just occasional projects.

Build in rhythms that support regular discovery.

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TERESA TORRES

Rather than building new solutions, discover existing problems that are worth solving.

TERESA TORRES

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Framing Insights as Concrete, Falsifiable Hypotheses

Framing Insights as Concrete, Falsifiable Hypotheses

Frame insights gathered from discovery activities as concrete, falsifiable hypotheses stated from the customer's perspective.

This leads to productive questioning and testing of assumptions rather than falling into confirmation bias where we seek validation of preconceived notions and existing solutions.

State hypothesizes in ways that can be tested.

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

The definition of Continuous Discovery

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. 

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The mindset of Continuous Discovery

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 research not as a project, but as a continuous action done at any step they need

d) Being experimental: to be bold to consider experiments and not fully-built features to validate assumptions

e) Being collaborative: anyone can bring any input when brainstorming

f) Being customer-centric: to think from the customer perspective

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How to start

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 individually drawing out what they think the current experience of the customer is. 

It is important that everyone does it individually, at first, as to not bias each other when presenting. 

After exposing their opinions and discussing, it's time to merge all the experiences into one.

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Continuous Discovery Habits

Continuous Discovery Habits

  • Follow the “continuous discovery” process to structure the way you make decisions, implement research and create strong product testing.
  • Set a clear goal to guide your product team through discovery.
  • Map out your customer experience to discern potential solutions.
  • To craft solutions, prioritize customers’ needs, issues and desires.
  • Identify hidden assumptions that support or kill your solutions.
  • Test your assumptions to minimize risk and make sure you’re on track. 
  • Collaborate with stakeholders as you cycle through the discovery process.

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Follow the “continuous discovery” process to structure the way you make decisions, implement research and create strong product

Implement a structured, continual discovery process to develop new products that achieve your goals. This strategy will:

  • Eliminate clashes between stockholders’ needs and customers’ needs by creating value for both.
  • Foster a shared understanding among the members of your product team about how to reach desired results.
  • Teach team members how to use a continuous development mind-set in product testing.
  • Support better decision making.
  • Boost team members’ confidence that they know what to do if things go wrong.

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Set a clear goal to guide your product team through discovery.

“It starts with defining a clear outcome – one that sets the scope for discovery.”

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