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The Customer-Driven Playbook by Jessica Rich, Travis Lowdermilk

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Chapter 11. The Problem Playbook

Interviewing Customers About Their Problems and Frustrations

We believe [type of customers] are frustrated by [job-to-be-done] because of [problem].

This playbook is organized into three sections that align with the Customer-Driven Cadence:

Formulating
  • Capture your team’s assumptions about the [problem] parameter of the Problem hypothesis by exploring customers’ problems and frustrations.

  • Turn those assumptions into testable hypotheses.

  • Generate a Discussion Guide for conducting your interview.

Experimenting
  • Prepare for customer interviews.

  • Conduct customer interviews.

  • Debrief after the interview is complete.

Sensemaking
  • Use a structured method to derive patterns and meaning out of your customer interviews.

  • Share your customer insights with your organization.

Formulating

Formulating Problem Assumptions

1. Capture assumptions.

At each stage of the HPF, you’ll want to capture your assumptions and turn them into testable hypotheses. In the Problem stage, if you don’t validate that your customers are, in fact, having a problem and that it’s painful enough for them to seek a resolution, you’ll end up building solutions in search of a problem.

As a team, you’ll want to capture your team’s assumptions about the problems you believe your customers are experiencing.

  1. For each of the assumption prompts listed below, write your response on a Post-it note. You may have more than one response per prompt—that’s expected! Capture one response per note.

    • These [type of customers] are ...

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