Coding features is time-consuming and costly. However, once their new feature goes live, many teams discover that they made an incorrect assumption about what users really need.
As a result, the feature is underutilized. In any case, life is too brief for that. Additionally, any company that operates in this manner will cease to exist soon. Process for product discovery adapted from Kevin on Code: This second track, which complements and precedes product delivery, is referred to as product discovery.
The following is the standard procedure for assigning a priority to the tasks the delivery team works on:
The legendary Marty Cagan put it this way:
“First, you need to find out if there are actual users who want this product… Second, you need to find a product solution to this problem that is usable, useful, and possible.”
To put it succinctly, product discovery is a method for assisting product teams in fine-tuning their concepts by first gaining an in-depth comprehension of actual user issues and then determining the most effective solution. We at Productboard are big fans of this strategy, and the steps below will show you how we go about finding products.
Building the right products and features for your customers is the goal of the product discovery process. When choosing a product, there is always uncertainty. We conduct product discovery to lessen the risks associated with the products we decide to build. Typically, sacrificing discovery results in a disconnect between the products built and the requirements of users.
In product management, Marty Cagan identifies four major dangers:
Product discovery — the four risks: Value risk (whether customers will buy it or choose to use it); Usability risk (whether users can figure out how to use it); Feasibility risk (whether our engineers can build what we need with the time, skills, and technology we have); Business viability risk (whether this solution also works for the various aspects of our business); and Value risk (whether customers will buy it or choose to use it).It enables your team to acquire in-depth user insights through ongoing learning while also providing them with a laser-like focus on the issues and requirements of users.
It is essential to keep in mind that the release of features is not always the objective of product discovery. Instead, the goal is to foster a learning environment that will enable you to consistently and incrementally improve your product.
The delivery of features is not always the objective of product discovery. Instead, the goal is to foster a learning environment that will enable you to consistently and incrementally improve your product.
A step-by-step guide for conducting product discovery Product board conducts product discovery using the Double Diamond approach, which is structured as follows:
Find out what the underlying user need is, then define it, find the best solution, create a prototype, and test it. Now, let’s take each part one step at a time.
Find out what the real user need is The first step in the product discovery process is to identify the big problems that you want to solve with your product. Your product team should focus on the big picture, or high-level goals or themes, rather than the details at this point.
A problem for Product board might look like the following:
How can we make Productboard more useful for mid-market businesses?
It can be difficult to identify the appropriate challenges. New product challenges present you with an open-ended blank slate to work with. There are value- and need-oriented challenges centered on your users’ current requirements and issues. Then there are technical difficulties versus growth. Growth challenges typically involve improving a quantitative metric, such as user retention in your product. Product performance is frequently linked to technical difficulties.
You learn about and define your problem during the challenge identification stage.
Understand Understanding the underlying user needs you want to address with your product is essential for accurately identifying challenges. For answers at this stage, product teams heavily rely on quantitative and qualitative research. User research, focus groups, observation, customer interviews, data analytics, competitive research, empathy mapping, and other
Methods are among the useful tools and methods to use.
- Define Once you know what the user needs are that you want to meet, you need to clearly define them. This can be accomplished in a few steps:
- Identify the issue: Try to condense everything you’re trying to solve into a single sentence. This makes it easier to communicate clearly to your team and brings them together around a common goal. It will be difficult to keep everyone focused if you formulate the problem in a loose manner.
- Confirm the issue: Verify that you are actually working on solutions-oriented issues. How severe is the suffering that your customers are going through? How much will dealing with the pain actually add value?
- Prioritize: In essence, you must decide which of the identified issues should be addressed first. Product teams accomplish this by utilizing a number of well-known frameworks. Value is more important to us at Product board than complexity, but there are other approaches, like the RICE method, ICE, and others.
- Productboard’s prioritization matrix, based on the value vs. complexity prioritization framework, is a component of the product discovery process.
- Many product teams use journey mapping, the Five Whys or other similar methods, or a SWOT analysis to clearly define problems.
- After you have identified specific user issues, the best course of action is to break them down into manageable chunks.
The broad challenge outlined above can be reframed and broken down into the following categories:
Productboard’s public Portal has limitations for mid-market businesses because they want to communicate with multiple audiences simultaneously.
You brainstorm, prototype, and test potential solution concepts that you and your team have prioritized during the reframing phase. All of this is due diligence to verify features and products before shipping.
Ideate You brainstorm to determine your strategy for resolving user issues. Through innovation exercises, other ideation methods like team brainstorming, mind mapping, storyboarding, and running design sprints, your team can get really creative here.
Prototype With prototypes, teams can demonstrate and bring their concepts to life.
Prototypes can take many different forms, including but not limited to sketches, mockups, clickable prototypes, MVPs, and even products that are competitive with or similar to one another.
What teams are trying to learn, what needs to be tested, and what questions remain are all factors that influence the type of prototypes they choose to construct.
Find out more about prototypes:
Why every product manager ought to be able to prototype Eight examples of prototypes that you can construct for your MVP Test Testing establishes whether or not the suggested solutions are actually capable of resolving the issue. A/B testing, customer interviews, user testing, survey distribution, and product beta testing are all popular methods and tools here.
Keep in mind that features and solutions may not always be equal.
Using Productboard’s example as a guide, here is a workable solution:
Let’s make it possible for customers to create multiple Portals so that they can communicate with different audiences.
It may take several iterations to arrive at a solution. After all, the product team wants to make sure that users get what they want. For gaining buy-in and alignment, it will be essential to present the solution to stakeholders (in Productboard’s case, product leadership, delivery teams, and cross-functional teams).
You will probably move on to delivery at this point, but not with a finished design. Your solution still has some rough edges.
Intercom adheres to an excellent product principle: Be opinionated while remaining flexible.
Incorporate excellence into your product discovery process. The following is a summary of how Product board developed as a result of this process:
Challenge: Useful for mid-market businesses?
Rephrase the issue: Productboard’s public Portal has limitations for mid-market businesses because they want to share and validate their ideas with multiple audiences simultaneously.
Find a workable solution: Customers should be able to create multiple Portals so they can share and validate their ideas with different audiences.
(In case you were wondering, Productboard now allows you to create multiple Product Portals. Go look it up!)
We wanted to share this framework because many product teams work on solutions rather than problems the majority of the time. It also makes sense. It’s a tempting shortcut that requires fewer steps. However, teams may ship the wrong things if they skip the discovery process, resulting in products and features that don’t meet expectations and go unutilized.