There’s nothing more frustrating than abandoning a project, or realising that you’ve been putting all of your effort into the wrong thing. These fruitless excursions can happen to the best of us, but we have a tried and tested method for avoiding it. It’s called Problem Framing.
We introduced Problem Framing as an exercise to perform before a Design Sprint. Since doing so, we’ve found that the success of our Design Sprints vastly improved. Problem Framing is a kind of ‘root cause analysis’ that ensures you’re tackling the real problem and you’re putting all your energy and resources into solving the right thing.
As a CEO, I can find that committing to a week-long Design Sprint is, well, a big commitment. And from talking to other business owners, I know it’s the same for them. So as much as I love Sprints, it’s often not feasible for me to be present for the duration. I can, however, dedicate the best part of a day to a Problem Framing session.
This works not just for CEOs, but for other stakeholders too, whether they be the lead sponsor, a senior product manager or project lead. Having that key decision maker present during the Problem Framing session really improves the quality validity of the Problem Statement that you carry forward. That’s not to say I go radio silent for the rest of the week – I’d always recommend check-ins with your Sprint team.
Since the COVID lockdown, we have moved our Problem Framing sessions online. This was a relatively easy transition for us, being no strangers to remote workshops. In fact, I could even say that I prefer them this way. The tools we use (read more about those here), the structured meetings and the locked-in availability of all attending make them really enjoyable and effective.
So as with much of what we do, we’d like to share the love. We’re hosting a Problem Framing Workshop this Wednesday and Thursday. These two workshops are just 30 minutes each, and aim to teach you the what, why and how of Problem Framing, with plenty of space for Q&A.
If you’re a product owner, business founder or project lead, and you’d like to take a bullet proof Problem Statement into your next Design Sprint, join us to find out how. It’s free, and we’ll be adding additional sessions over the coming weeks.