Monday: Understand the problem

What is the long term goal?

“Why are we doing this project? Where do we want to be six months, a year or even five years from now?”

At the start of the , you need to set a long term goal. This should serve as your beacon of light to keep everyone moving in the same direction. Once established, it’s to turn the goal into actionable items by rephrasing your assumptions and obstacles into sprint questions.

For example, if your long term goal is to “build an army of loyalists through products that deliver reasons to return”; then a sprint question could be “will customers feel motivated to recommend us?”.

The long term goal and sprint questions that we defined.

What are your users’ pain points?

After you’ve defined your long term goal and sprint questions, start by mapping out your customer journey. It’s important to understand who your customers are, so conducting user research in advance is vital.

  • Empathy mapping. The Empathy map is a visual way to better understand your users and prioritise their needs. The map helps to identify any key themes and problems affecting your users based on their quotes, actions, behaviours, pains and feelings captured throughout the user research and expert interviews.
Our Empathy map based on our users.
  • Customer Journey. The Customer Journey map helps to visualise a customer’s end to end experience with your product or service. This allows the team to narrow down a broad challenge to a specific target for the sprint.
  • Swim lane diagram. Combining the Empathy map with the Customer Journey map will create a Swim Lane diagram. This diagram serves to create a heat map of the problems that exist within each step of the customer journey.
Example of a Swim Lane diagram.

How Might We turn this problem into an opportunity?

The How Might We method is used to turn existing problems into opportunities. For example, if the problem is that “users struggle to know what to buy for their friend as a gift”, then the How Might We could be “how might we help the user better understand what they know about their friend?”.

Use the dot voting system to prioritise the How Might We notes and decide on which focus area to target for your sprint.

Which problem do we target?

“Who is the most important customer, and what’s the critical moment of that customer’s experience?”

At the end of the day, the decider needs to select one target customer and one target event on the Customer Journey map to focus on. This will become the focus problem for the rest of the sprint.

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