After spending one year evangelizing about product discovery, I realize the biggest trap is to NOT define your level of ambition.
It’s a very common trap because teams THINK they have defined it when they have chosen a success metric as the desirable outcome they are after. Then those teams go through endless discovery sessions, get lost in data and insights and come to the conclusion that they need more time to find the answer they are looking after.
Guess what? They don’t need more time — they need to decide, as early as possible, what is their level of ambition.
Let me give you an example. Imagine your team has been tasked to improve the sustainability dimension of your product.
The first step of your discovery journey should NOT be to talk to users or to dive into data.
You should first clarify your level of ambition. Are you trying to become the best-in-class sustainable company that customers praise and competitors look up to? Or are you just aiming at avoiding fines regarding the latest legislation? Or are you actually doing this to satisfy employees’ satisfaction?
Any of these levels of ambition is fine. All those ambitions would indeed be a step forward in terms of becoming more sustainable. But, in a discovery process, many great ideas and solutions would be discarded immediately, depending on the ambition you chose.
A discovery is long and painful when you secretly hope that the insights will converge towards an obvious decision. When you give up on this illusion, you get to experience how a strong discovery process makes you go faster to delivery, not slower.
FOCUSED, all the way!