How to run a Product Discovery Workshop at your company
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Our work across domains for many years have made us realize the difference between a good product and a great product. The difference lies in the amount of time and effort one spends in finding answers for critical business questions before building the product.
What is Product Discovery Workshop
All successful product owners have answered some of the most critical business questions through research, design, prototyping, interviews and testing. But, all these steps are surrounded by one common characteristic. That, is user-centric mindset.
To address this issue, we have been running focused workshops with our customers called, Product Discovery Workshops a.k.a. PDW. These workshops are a series of quick, yet focused events that happens over the course of one week, inspired by Google’s Design Sprint.
Fact: Skcript’s team has run more than 150 design sprint workshops across various domains over the years.
At any point, we have a ton of concurrent projects running at Skcript, and for us, it is very crucial to make sure we get the process right. We want the client to know that their products are battle-tested before the Go Live date.
To maintain Skcript’s Standards, our engineers have put together a series of steps that will get things right while building the product. All those steps are available for you to read now.
How to run Skcript’s Product Discovery Workshop
Before you start off with anything that is coming up next, it is important to convince your management that the 5 day investment for PDW is going to be worth it.
Day #1: Domain Understanding
Understand the domain in which your product will fit into. Split your team into micro teams using their strengths, and gain knowledge about your competition, their mission/vision and their positioning in the industry. In parallel, team will analyze the most common and the most unique user personas who will be using your product.
Deliverable for Day #1: A detailed analysis of your competition, understanding of the domain, user personas.
Day #2: What if Answers
Answering What if questions before you jump into a workflow for solving someone’s problem is crucial. Give each and every team member ample time for them to answer the What if question.
For example, Varun’s answers for What if would be: - What if we had a mobile app which sends only push notifications - What if the mobile app allowed the users to respond to queries anonymously - What if the app is a bot to which the users can talk to
This step essentially gives you a whole different perspective of everyone’s thinking about the product. If you feel that the team is deviating, stop them, and bring them back on track according to the vision of the product.
Deliverable for Day #2: A huge document called ‘The What ifs’, list of potential feature set for the product
Day #3: Cleanup
Now that you have a list of features that can go in into the product, sit down as a team and discuss each and every what if statements. Prioritize based on the target that you set yourself for milestone 1.
This will give you a huge list of features and workflows for version 1, which will set path for the next few steps.
Deliverable for Day #3: List of features, it’s priorities, workflows and milestones.
Day #4: Drawing Board
Let everyone sketch out their own workflows for the features you arrived at as a team in Day #3. Give them ample amount of time for sketching and have a check on your team’s alignment with the feature sets.
There will be places where your team is super enthusiastic and comes up with one small feature that will take about a month to implement in reality. No change is a small change. Remember?
Once done, let everyone present their workflow to the rest of the team, and get it reviewed. Once done, have a designer design the final workflows that was agreed.
Deliverable for Day #4: A wall full of workflow papers, reviews on each and every paper, a final workflow document for actual designing & final designs for the workflow.
Day #5: M-MVP (Micro-Minimum Viable Product)
This stage is for the users to get a feel of how the app would look like and perform. Now that you have a workflow designed for the entire product, use a good prototyping tool like Invision which can help you connect these designs into a prototyped project.
Share the prototype link with your users, and see their reactions. They will struggle at some points, and pass through the others easily without facing any issues. Everything has to be noted down in a beautiful document.
Deliverable for Day #5: A working prototype, users’ feedback.
At the end of this workshop, you will have something tangible for you to test with your users. This makes it easy for you to align your thoughts in the right direction, and do what the users want from your product.
If you are a company, and if you are struggling to come up with a quick working prototype that is well designed, here’s the email you will have to reach out to: email@example.com or hit the bubble that’s hanging around towards the lower right corner of the screen.
Here’s what you get from us after PDW
- A detailed Product Creative Brief
- Working prototype of your product
- A product roadmap with milestones
- Clearly defined task list for each and every person in your team
- Go to market plan for your product
Honestly, what more do you need to get your idea off the ground and go live within 5 days?