Product Discovery Process: Everything Product Managers Need to Know
As a product manager at an enterprise company, one of your most important responsibilities is to ensure that your team is working on the right solutions for your customers and enhancing your existing product portfolio. To do this, you need to have a clear understanding of the needs and wants of your customers, as well as the capabilities and limitations of your team whether they are internal or external engineering and design talent.
Enter the product discovery process. This process is designed to help product managers identify the most promising opportunities for their teams and to validate their assumptions about what will be successful in the market.
The product discovery process typically consists of several key steps:
- Define the problem: The first step in the product discovery process is to identify the problem that you are trying to solve. This could be a problem that your customers are experiencing, a gap in the market, or an opportunity to improve upon an existing product.
- Gather data: Once you have identified the problem, the next step is to gather data to help you understand it better. This could involve conducting customer interviews, analyzing market research, or reviewing internal data.
- Generate ideas: With a clear understanding of the problem and the data to support it, the next step is to generate ideas for potential solutions. This could involve brainstorming sessions, idea generation workshops, or other techniques.
- Evaluate ideas: Once you have a list of potential solutions, it’s time to evaluate them. This could involve creating prototypes, conducting user testing, or using other methods to determine which ideas are the most promising.
- Validate the solution: The final step in the product discovery process is to validate the chosen solution. This could involve conducting further user testing, analyzing market data, or other methods to ensure that the solution is viable and will be successful in the market.
Here’s an example of a customer interview that you might use to gather data about your product. This is a fictional enterprise product for a manufacturing company and the user script we might use:
Researcher: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. Could you tell me a little bit about your company and how you use our enterprise software product?
Customer: Sure. We are a large manufacturing company and we use your software to manage our supply chain and logistics.
Researcher: That’s great. Could you tell me more about how your team uses the software on a daily basis?
Customer: Well, our team uses the software to track and manage orders, shipments, and inventory levels. We also use it to generate reports and analyze data to make informed business decisions.
Researcher: That’s really helpful. Can you tell me more about how the software has helped your team streamline its processes and improve efficiency?
Customer: Definitely. Before we started using your software, we were using multiple different systems to manage our supply chain and logistics. It was a lot of manual work and it was difficult to get a clear overview of everything. But since we started using your software, we’ve been able to streamline our processes and save a lot of time. The software is also really user-friendly, which has made it easier for our team to learn and adopt.
Researcher: That’s great to hear. Are there any specific features of the software that your team particularly likes or finds helpful?
Customer: Yes, definitely. We really like the real-time tracking and notification feature, which helps us stay on top of orders and shipments. We also really appreciate the custom reporting function, which allows us to create tailored reports that meet our specific needs.
Researcher: Thanks for sharing that with me. Is there anything about the software that you think could be improved or that you’d like to see added in the future?
Customer: There are a few things we’d like to see added. For example, it would be great to have a more robust project management feature, as well as better integration with some of our other systems. But overall, we’re really happy with the software and appreciate all the improvements and updates you’ve made so far.
Researcher: Thanks for your feedback. Is there anything else you’d like to add about your experience with our enterprise software product?
Customer: No, I think that covers it. Like I said, we’re really happy with the software and it’s been a great tool for our team.
Researcher: Well, thank you again for speaking with me today. Your feedback is really valuable and will help us continue to improve our product.
Customer: No problem, happy to help.
Overall, the product discovery process is a critical part of the product development process for any enterprise company. By following these steps, product managers can ensure that their teams are working on the right products and that they have a clear understanding of what will be successful in the market.