Product Management

8 Product Discovery Framework Examples You Can Implement

Content Writer

Athira V S

July 20, 2023

13 mins read

8 Product Discovery Framework Examples You Can Implement

We're facing massive changes in the world of product management and development. According to Gartner, 80% of technology products will be built by people who are not technology professionals by the end of 2024.

That's possible thanks to technology development, AI solutions and advanced tools that can help you with product delivery.

But the first step is conducting product discovery to uncover what real users need. To do that, you need a good product discovery framework.

In this article, we share frameworks and methodologies that will streamline your product discovery efforts and help you develop product ideas that work.

What is a product discovery framework?

The product discovery framework is a systematic approach product teams can use in the initial stage of product research and development. Frameworks help us define the target audience and the problem we want to solve with our product so we can develop multiple ideas and potential solutions.

We can divide the discovery process into two phases:

  • Exploration
  • Validation

The exploration phase includes product discovery techniques like market research, pain points and existing solutions. The goal is to come up with ideas for solving the defined problem.

In the validation phase, we check assumptions made during the first phase to see whether our ideas have business value and are doable. You can do this by using testing and prototyping tools and collecting customer feedback.

Product discovery framework: examples

Here are the best frameworks your product team can use to streamline the product discovery process.

Design thinking

Design thinking is a broad discipline, but here are five steps to use it in the product discovery process:

  1. Empathize: The purpose of this phase is to put yourself into your users' shoes so that you can emphasize with them and better understand their needs.
  2. Define: After thorough user research, it's time to clearly define a problem you want to address.
  3. Ideate: In this phase, product teams are encouraged to generate as many ideas as possible and develop all possible solutions to the previously defined problem. The goal is to unleash your creativity and think outside the box without worrying whether those ideas are viable.
  4. Prototype: During this phase, the team analyzes all ideas one by one to see whether they're feasible and whether they can build them. The goal of this phase is to create prototypes that could solve the problem.
  5. Test: It's time to test the prototype and gather as much user feedback as possible. Does it solve their problems? Is it easy to use? Does it lack something?

This is not the end! Depending on the results of the testing, you may need to go back to:

  • Empathy phase – if you discovered a new or different problem during the testing
  • Ideas phase – if none of the ideas worked, maybe you need to generate some new ideas
  • Prototype phase – if you don't want to continue with the same prototype, you might need to build a different prototype

Impact mapping

Impact mapping can help you identify the most important features to prioritize when building a prototype. You can do it through six phases:

  1. Goal: You should always start with a Why. Why are you building this product, what is its purpose, what problem do you want to solve?
  2. Actors: Define who is your end user.
  3. Impact: Determine the impact or positive outcome your user could get from solving each problem. Will it bring them closer to their goal? How would it benefit them? How much difference would it make?
  4. Deliverables: It's time to define deliverables that will allow you to make the desired impact. In other words, this is where you define the exact features and improvements you want to create.
  5. Priorities: Assess potential impact, feasibility risk and effort required to build each feature. Prioritize features that provide as much value as possible to your users.
  6. Impact map: The impact map looks like a hierarchical diagram, starting with the goal in the center and then adding impacts and deliverables branching from it.

Opportunity solution trees

This product discovery tool allows you to overcome product discovery hurdles by visually representing the link between three essential elements:

  1. Outcome
  2. Opportunities
  3. Solutions

Start by identifying the desired outcome, for example, increasing customer lifetime value. Then, identify opportunities aligned with that business outcome. You can transform all pain points, problems and challenges your customers have into opportunities for improvement.

After that, move to a solution space of the tree. You can schedule a brainstorming session to identify all potential solutions for those opportunities. Try to come up with as many solutions as possible.

Finally, the validation phase: it's time to thoroughly test each solution to see which one works the best.

Jobs To Be Done (JTBD)

This framework is based on the idea that people buy products because they want to "hire" them to do specific jobs for them. We're not analyzing potential features from the customers' perspective and their needs but from the standpoint of jobs or actions that products must complete.

Instead of asking, "What do our customers need?" we can ask, "What is required to successfully and effortlessly complete this task?"

Here are five steps to implement the Jobs To Be Done framework:

  1. Market identification: Determine user personas and their pain points.
  2. Job identification: Find out what actions and objectives your user personas want to complete.
  3. Job categorization: Divide them into two groups: main jobs and secondary jobs necessary to accomplish the main ones.
  4. Job statement: Briefly describe each thing that needs to be done.
  5. Prioritization: Decide which jobs are the most important/urgent. These are the features you should prioritize when you start building the first version of your product using product backlog management.

Read this article to learn more about product prioritization frameworks.

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)

Source: Freepik.com

You can combine OKRs with other product discovery frameworks to help you break your big goal into smaller milestones and create a strategy.

Let's say your goal is to get more user insights. That's your objective. Now, you should come up with key results that will help you measure your progress. For example:

Key result #1: Run 100 user interviews

Key result #2: Collect feedback from at least 30% of people who use your existing solutions

Story mapping

Story mapping is a product discovery framework that enables you to visually represent user behavior in your app.

It's suitable for complex products or products with multiple personas or focus groups whose goals and behavior might differ. It allows you to follow their movement in the app, discover potential feature requests from different user groups and prioritize essential features.

This framework is an excellent way for product teams to involve other team members and stakeholders.

  1. Create your personas, understand user needs and get customer insight.
  2. Define the goals they want to achieve using your product.
  3. Map the user journey (their flow through your app, all the steps they need to take to achieve that goal, from signing up to purchasing something online) and create user stories.
  4. Prioritize the most critical actions.
  5. Define your MVP (minimum viable product). You can add other features later.

Dual-track agile

This approach is ideal for companies that use an agile roadmap and prioritize continuous discovery and improvement. It allows you to have frequent releases and constant incremental upgrades without spending tons of money.

It consists of two parallel tracks working simultaneously: the discovery and delivery track.

The discovery track is focused on traditional product discovery activities like researching users, potential solutions, coming up with ideas and validating them.

You should implement dual-track agile if you strive for a constant learning loop and collaboration among the product team and other stakeholders on product management operations.

Lean startup

Source: Freepik.com

The goal of the lean startup framework is to shorten the product development cycle and save time and money by rapidly discovering whether a product is viable. It focuses on creating a minimum viable product (MVP) by eliminating all the non-essential features.

You can apply the framework in four steps:

  1. Understanding: The goal of this phase is to learn more about the user and understand the main problem from the user’s perspective.
  2. Ideating: First, you should brainstorm all ideas representing potential solutions to the problem. Then, choose the ones that solve the issue most effectively and are simple and easy to implement.
  3. Prototyping: Build an MVP focusing only on essential features to help early adopters solve their problems. However, make sure your prototype has enough value for the end user.
  4. Validating: Test your MPV to see whether it solves customers' problems and collect customer feedback that will help you improve the next version of the product.

This approach is great if you have limited resources and want to address business viability risk as soon as possible.

Product discovery framework: how can Zeda.io help?

Zeda.io is a comprehensive product management tool with a special focus on customer-led product discovery. It translates qualitative and quantitative insights about customers into actionable product intelligence.

Our AI insights allow you to learn more about your users and decide which new feature or product to build next. Here is how you can use Zeda.io for product discovery:

  • Organize customer feedback
  • Segment and prioritize their problems and needs
  • Get a holistic overview of users and their feedback
  • Determine the business impact of each feature
  • Measure OKRs in real-time
  • Build an actionable product roadmap

Conclusion

What if we told you there's a way to integrate different frameworks and methodologies and let the AI help your product discovery team? Our product discovery tool Zeda.io takes the guesswork out of product discovery and enables you to make data-driven decisions.

With our customer-centric tool, discovering and prioritizing problems to solve gets easier than ever. Get started for free today and see how.

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FAQs

What does product discovery include?

The product discovery process includes user research, market research, defining the problem, ideation and validation, prototyping and testing potential solutions.

What is product discovery in agile?

The main difference is that Agile methodology requires continuous product discovery in an iterative manner. Continuous discovery runs parallel to product development, helping you uncover customer needs and new features you could add.

What are the stages of the discovery process?

The stages depend on the specific framework used during the process, but two main stages are Exploration and Validation, which you can later divide into multiple steps, depending on the methodology.

Product Management

8 Product Discovery Framework Examples You Can Implement

Athira V S
Content Writer
July 20, 2023
13 mins read
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IN THIS ARTICLE:
  1. What are product discovery techniques?
  2. 8 key product discovery techniques link
  3. Conclusion
IN THIS ARTICLE:
  1. What are product discovery techniques?
  2. 8 key product discovery techniques link
  3. Conclusion

We're facing massive changes in the world of product management and development. According to Gartner, 80% of technology products will be built by people who are not technology professionals by the end of 2024.

That's possible thanks to technology development, AI solutions and advanced tools that can help you with product delivery.

But the first step is conducting product discovery to uncover what real users need. To do that, you need a good product discovery framework.

In this article, we share frameworks and methodologies that will streamline your product discovery efforts and help you develop product ideas that work.

What is a product discovery framework?

The product discovery framework is a systematic approach product teams can use in the initial stage of product research and development. Frameworks help us define the target audience and the problem we want to solve with our product so we can develop multiple ideas and potential solutions.

We can divide the discovery process into two phases:

  • Exploration
  • Validation

The exploration phase includes product discovery techniques like market research, pain points and existing solutions. The goal is to come up with ideas for solving the defined problem.

In the validation phase, we check assumptions made during the first phase to see whether our ideas have business value and are doable. You can do this by using testing and prototyping tools and collecting customer feedback.

Product discovery framework: examples

Here are the best frameworks your product team can use to streamline the product discovery process.

Design thinking

Design thinking is a broad discipline, but here are five steps to use it in the product discovery process:

  1. Empathize: The purpose of this phase is to put yourself into your users' shoes so that you can emphasize with them and better understand their needs.
  2. Define: After thorough user research, it's time to clearly define a problem you want to address.
  3. Ideate: In this phase, product teams are encouraged to generate as many ideas as possible and develop all possible solutions to the previously defined problem. The goal is to unleash your creativity and think outside the box without worrying whether those ideas are viable.
  4. Prototype: During this phase, the team analyzes all ideas one by one to see whether they're feasible and whether they can build them. The goal of this phase is to create prototypes that could solve the problem.
  5. Test: It's time to test the prototype and gather as much user feedback as possible. Does it solve their problems? Is it easy to use? Does it lack something?

This is not the end! Depending on the results of the testing, you may need to go back to:

  • Empathy phase – if you discovered a new or different problem during the testing
  • Ideas phase – if none of the ideas worked, maybe you need to generate some new ideas
  • Prototype phase – if you don't want to continue with the same prototype, you might need to build a different prototype

Impact mapping

Impact mapping can help you identify the most important features to prioritize when building a prototype. You can do it through six phases:

  1. Goal: You should always start with a Why. Why are you building this product, what is its purpose, what problem do you want to solve?
  2. Actors: Define who is your end user.
  3. Impact: Determine the impact or positive outcome your user could get from solving each problem. Will it bring them closer to their goal? How would it benefit them? How much difference would it make?
  4. Deliverables: It's time to define deliverables that will allow you to make the desired impact. In other words, this is where you define the exact features and improvements you want to create.
  5. Priorities: Assess potential impact, feasibility risk and effort required to build each feature. Prioritize features that provide as much value as possible to your users.
  6. Impact map: The impact map looks like a hierarchical diagram, starting with the goal in the center and then adding impacts and deliverables branching from it.

Opportunity solution trees

This product discovery tool allows you to overcome product discovery hurdles by visually representing the link between three essential elements:

  1. Outcome
  2. Opportunities
  3. Solutions

Start by identifying the desired outcome, for example, increasing customer lifetime value. Then, identify opportunities aligned with that business outcome. You can transform all pain points, problems and challenges your customers have into opportunities for improvement.

After that, move to a solution space of the tree. You can schedule a brainstorming session to identify all potential solutions for those opportunities. Try to come up with as many solutions as possible.

Finally, the validation phase: it's time to thoroughly test each solution to see which one works the best.

Jobs To Be Done (JTBD)

This framework is based on the idea that people buy products because they want to "hire" them to do specific jobs for them. We're not analyzing potential features from the customers' perspective and their needs but from the standpoint of jobs or actions that products must complete.

Instead of asking, "What do our customers need?" we can ask, "What is required to successfully and effortlessly complete this task?"

Here are five steps to implement the Jobs To Be Done framework:

  1. Market identification: Determine user personas and their pain points.
  2. Job identification: Find out what actions and objectives your user personas want to complete.
  3. Job categorization: Divide them into two groups: main jobs and secondary jobs necessary to accomplish the main ones.
  4. Job statement: Briefly describe each thing that needs to be done.
  5. Prioritization: Decide which jobs are the most important/urgent. These are the features you should prioritize when you start building the first version of your product using product backlog management.

Read this article to learn more about product prioritization frameworks.

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)

Source: Freepik.com

You can combine OKRs with other product discovery frameworks to help you break your big goal into smaller milestones and create a strategy.

Let's say your goal is to get more user insights. That's your objective. Now, you should come up with key results that will help you measure your progress. For example:

Key result #1: Run 100 user interviews

Key result #2: Collect feedback from at least 30% of people who use your existing solutions

Story mapping

Story mapping is a product discovery framework that enables you to visually represent user behavior in your app.

It's suitable for complex products or products with multiple personas or focus groups whose goals and behavior might differ. It allows you to follow their movement in the app, discover potential feature requests from different user groups and prioritize essential features.

This framework is an excellent way for product teams to involve other team members and stakeholders.

  1. Create your personas, understand user needs and get customer insight.
  2. Define the goals they want to achieve using your product.
  3. Map the user journey (their flow through your app, all the steps they need to take to achieve that goal, from signing up to purchasing something online) and create user stories.
  4. Prioritize the most critical actions.
  5. Define your MVP (minimum viable product). You can add other features later.

Dual-track agile

This approach is ideal for companies that use an agile roadmap and prioritize continuous discovery and improvement. It allows you to have frequent releases and constant incremental upgrades without spending tons of money.

It consists of two parallel tracks working simultaneously: the discovery and delivery track.

The discovery track is focused on traditional product discovery activities like researching users, potential solutions, coming up with ideas and validating them.

You should implement dual-track agile if you strive for a constant learning loop and collaboration among the product team and other stakeholders on product management operations.

Lean startup

Source: Freepik.com

The goal of the lean startup framework is to shorten the product development cycle and save time and money by rapidly discovering whether a product is viable. It focuses on creating a minimum viable product (MVP) by eliminating all the non-essential features.

You can apply the framework in four steps:

  1. Understanding: The goal of this phase is to learn more about the user and understand the main problem from the user’s perspective.
  2. Ideating: First, you should brainstorm all ideas representing potential solutions to the problem. Then, choose the ones that solve the issue most effectively and are simple and easy to implement.
  3. Prototyping: Build an MVP focusing only on essential features to help early adopters solve their problems. However, make sure your prototype has enough value for the end user.
  4. Validating: Test your MPV to see whether it solves customers' problems and collect customer feedback that will help you improve the next version of the product.

This approach is great if you have limited resources and want to address business viability risk as soon as possible.

Product discovery framework: how can Zeda.io help?

Zeda.io is a comprehensive product management tool with a special focus on customer-led product discovery. It translates qualitative and quantitative insights about customers into actionable product intelligence.

Our AI insights allow you to learn more about your users and decide which new feature or product to build next. Here is how you can use Zeda.io for product discovery:

  • Organize customer feedback
  • Segment and prioritize their problems and needs
  • Get a holistic overview of users and their feedback
  • Determine the business impact of each feature
  • Measure OKRs in real-time
  • Build an actionable product roadmap

Conclusion

What if we told you there's a way to integrate different frameworks and methodologies and let the AI help your product discovery team? Our product discovery tool Zeda.io takes the guesswork out of product discovery and enables you to make data-driven decisions.

With our customer-centric tool, discovering and prioritizing problems to solve gets easier than ever. Get started for free today and see how.

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