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INSPIRED, 2nd Edition by Marty Cagan

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Discovery Framing Techniques

Overview

Much of our product discovery work doesn't require a lot of framing or planning. We need to come up with a solution to a particular problem, and often this is straightforward, and we can proceed directly to delivery work.

But for many efforts, this is decidedly not the case, and some framing and true problem solving becomes critically important. Big projects—and, especially, initiatives (projects spanning multiple teams)—are common examples.

In this section, I consider how we frame our discovery work to ensure alignment and to identify key risks.

There are really two goals here:

  1. The first is to ensure the team is all on the same page in terms of clarity of purpose and alignment. In particular, we need to agree on the business objective we're focused on, the specific problem we are intending to solve for our customers, which user or customers you're solving that problem for, and how you will know if you've succeeded. These should align directly to your product team's objectives and key results.
  2. The second purpose is to identify the big risks that will need to be tackled during the discovery work. I find that most teams tend to gravitate toward a particular type of risk that they are most comfortable with.

Two examples I often find are teams that immediately proceed to tackling technology risks—especially performance or scale—and teams that zero in on ...

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