Innovation: Focus on the problem

Interview

  • Tell me more about your problem.
  • What is the greatest difficulty you have regarding this problem?
  • What motivates you to want this problem solved?
  • Where does this problem usually happen?
  • When did it happen for the last time? What happened?
  • Why was it difficult/complicated/bad?
  • Did you manage to find a solution? Which one(s)?
  • What didn’t you like about the solutions you found?

Survey

  1. Be brief. The shorter your survey, the bigger are the chances of getting a good number of answers and guaranteeing a high statistical relevance.
  2. Be clear. Especially in online surveys, when you are not interacting with the respondent, there are big chances of the person misinterpreting your question. One good way of testing your questionnaire is to test it live with some people. Check if they understand each question, or if they have some difficulties in comprehending some part of it.
  • Original question: How short was Napoleon?
  • Improved version: What was Napoleon’s height?
  • Original question: Should concerned parents use compulsory child seats in the car?
  • Improved version: Do you think the use of special child seats in the car should be compulsory?
  • Original question: Where do you like to drink beer?
  • Improved version: Break into two questions: Do you like drinking beer? If yes, where?
  • Original question: In your current job, what is your satisfaction level regarding salary and benefits?
  • Improved version: Break into two questions: What is your satisfaction level with your salary in your current job? What is your satisfaction level with your benefits in your current job?
  • Original question: Do you always have breakfast? Possible answers: Yes / No.
  • Improved version: How many days a week do you have breakfast? Possible answers: Everyday / 5–6 days / 3–4 days / 1–2 days / I don’t have breakfast.

Observation

Problem mindset vs solution mindset

  • Original solution: Registro.br, the Brazilian registrar for .br domains released an API to allow Locaweb to charge the customer domain on behalf of Registro.br. At first, the idea seems good, since Locaweb billing the domain looks like the easiest way to guarantee that the customer knows that it has to pay for the domain registration to maintain the hosting and email services functioning properly. However, when we analyzed deeper, we saw that this solution could generate some problems. The customer would be billed twice for the same domain registration because the Registro.br would continue billing the domain. What happens if the customer pays both bills? And if she pays only Registro.br? And if she pays only Locaweb? In addition, implementing a new type of billing where we will bill for a third party service was something new to the Locaweb team. New processes would have to be carefully designed.
  • Actual solution: we started to wonder if there would be simpler ways to solve the problem of helping our customer not to forget that he has to pay for her domain registration at Registro.br. Since it would be possible to charge for Registro.br services, it was possible to access the information about the about-to-expire domain. We decided to design a simpler solution: we will implement a communication sequence with this customer advising him of the importance of paying Registro.br to ensure that the email and hosting services continue to operate normally. This is a much simpler solution than implementing a double billing process. If Registro.br provides us with the billing URL, we can send this link information to the customer and the chances of solving the problem will increase even further. And a communication sequence is much simpler and faster to implement than a duplicate billing process.
  • Original solution: batch purchases, where accountants would acquire a fixed number of Conta Azul licenses to resell to their customers. A system to manage batch purchases would take around 3 months to be implemented since it should allow accountants to buy Conta Azul licenses in bulk, but should only start billing the accountant’s customer when she actually activated the license.
  • Actual solution: accountants didn’t care about batch purchases. What they wanted was to provide a discount to their customers so they could subscribe to Conta Azul with this exclusive discount provided by their accounts. The cost to implement this was zero since the system already had a discount management feature.
  • Original solution: change our app to ask end-users who go to this fitness partner to read their waiver in our app and to check a box stating they read and are ok with it.
  • Actual solution: no change to our app. Use a customizable text field in the gym set up in our system that is normally presented to users who will check-in in that gym to present the following text: “By checking in, you agree with the waiver located at http://fitnesspartner.com/waiver”.

Concluding

Digital Product Management Books

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Digital product development advisor, coach, and board member. Also an open water swimmer and ukulelist.

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Joca Torres

Joca Torres

Digital product development advisor, coach, and board member. Also an open water swimmer and ukulelist.

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