Make it about a decision

Whether you’re looking at solving a big problem or a part of a product or service that isn’t performing, discoveries are a key.

Discoveries are intense periods of learning and exploring. They help you to:

  • question what opportunities there are
  • what issues your users are facing
  • what problems you should try to solve

They can last weeks or months. And you can even chain several together.

At the heart of every good discovery is a decision.

To build a service or not. To pursue a solution. To prioritise a problem or not. To go forward with a piece of work or not. To solve an issue in a certain way.

By working from a decision it’s easier for a team to know what to do. What sort of evidence they need. And what level of confidence they should be comfortable with.

Focusing on a decision also gives talented teams space. If you’re deciding to build a service or not, a “no” may also highlight what should be done.

When a team is told to build a thing or deliver a feature, making the first step a discovery and a decision means the team can carve the space to do the work to choose if the direction is correct.

Framing discoveries as a decision helps transfer power to the team on the ground. Which will help deliver the outcomes behind any ask.

When I’ve made a discovery about a decision, what to do has always been clearer. And speaking truth to power easier, because that was the outcome agreed upon.

Make your next period of intense research and design about a decision. It’ll help give you space to do your best work. And deliver better outcomes for your business.

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