What is a product discovery?
Product discovery (PD) assesses whether or not a product or feature should be produced centered on the consumer’s needs.
The product discovery process will differ from team to team and firm to company, but the end goals will always be the same: creating a better product.
The Process of Product Discovery is a flexible phase during which you and your team concentrate on producing the right thing rather than the right thing (Product Delivery). Product discovery can take many different shapes and frameworks, as we’ll see later.
While conducting product discovery, Product Teams usually focus on either the problem or solution spaces. They’re either trying to figure out if their users, clients, or stakeholders have a problem or are focused on putting a solution in place.
Which companies will benefit from Product Discovery
While product discovery is most commonly utilized during the essential developmental stages of a new build, there is no reason why you cannot apply it to existing products as well.
You may use customer information during backlog grooming sessions to guide future product updates and modify the trajectory of the product as it expands — ensuring that it remains aligned with customer needs throughout the product life cycle.
Product discovery with an existing product does not have to be complicated or time-consuming to be effective. It can be as simple as posting a poll on social media or simply picking up the phone to get started on the process.
What is the purpose of a Product Discovery?
A few key objectives of product discovery are as follows:
● Identify and document the issues that clients are now experiencing (typically through customer interviews or surveying)
● Invite input from all organization members to create an empathic picture of a typical consumer.
● Make sure to spend enough time listening to and understanding the customer’s challenges and requirements – our instinct is to jump to a solution, but spending more time comprehending the problem will result in more effective solutions.
● Collect and compile feedback on consumer concerns from as many sources as possible to make informed decisions (interviews, social media polling, etc.)
● Examine whether or not your assumptions about the customer are correct.
● Ultimately, determine which goods and features will be the most useful in addressing consumer needs – these are the ones you will prioritize for development during the product development process.
Who should be included in the product development process?
The Discovery of new products should be a collective endeavor. After all, the lessons learned and insights gained from this approach will benefit the entire team.
When planning a product discovery session, you might want to consider including the following items:
● The product owner is in charge of the long-term product roadmap and the entire project’s overall direction and management.
● Product managers and designers who will assist in the management of the products and features that are developed as a result of product discovery
● Important stakeholders from various company sectors are invited to participate (sales, marketing, etc.)
The Benefits of Product Discovery
In a nutshell, product discovery aids in the development of better products.
At its most fundamental level, product discovery identifies the specific difficulties your prospective consumer is experiencing. As a result of this process, a product team can begin to think about solutions to those problems and how they might be addressed. The product owner’s responsibility is to document these ideas and start the development process in earnest.
On the other hand, a cultural benefit is derived from meaningful consumer engagement and is delivered through product discovery. The moment a product team directly interacts with the individual who will be using the platform or app that they are developing, every line of code written and every icon designed is suddenly put into perspective.
Product roadmaps become less of a to-do list and more of a plan for solving the identified and heard challenges throughout product research and development. An increase in investment in a product invariably results in higher-quality output, with empathic, customer-centric design at the core of the process.
The Product Discovery Process
1: Increase your customer empathy by understanding their underlying requirements and sentiments.
2: Crowdsource multiple opinions from your team to get a holistic image of your consumer.
3: Pay attention—really pay attention. Resist the natural impulse to jump to a solution and instead consider the customer’s underlying issue.
4: To increase clarity, try visual mapping.
5: Gather and arrange client feedback from multiple avenues of input (e.g., social media, email, customer service, user research, customer advisory board, etc.).
6: Maintain objectivity. Are proposed remedies congruent with the problems, or are you prejudiced? Keep in mind that not every concept will be adopted.
7: Validate your assumptions.
Product discovery will get everyone on the same page; they will have witnessed how customers communicate their difficulties and have a renewed sense of empathy for the user due to their experience.
Engagement, motivation, and passion for producing the best successful product possible are all possible outcomes of this empathy.