Problems vs. Solutions
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Solving problems includes the steps of how to define problems, how to map problems to solutions, and how to define solutions.
Problems vs. Solutions is part of our Product Management Career Leveling Framework. Explore next steps in your career from this industry-standard model.
Intro to Problems vs. SolutionsThis section explores the relationship between problems and solutions, highlighting the importance of understanding both to create effective solutions.
- PM 101: Define the Problem Before the SolutionJens-Fabian explains how delivering a product that solves user problems requires understanding the problem first, writing it down, and getting cross-functional buy-in that this is the right problem to work on.
How to Define ProblemsDefining problems involves identifying the root cause, understanding the impact on stakeholders, and considering the context and constraints.
- A Three-Step Framework For Solving Problems 👌Lenny provides a process for how to construct problem statements, with examples for good and bad versions. He then provides insights on how to build Alignment across teams around the problem statements, and how to make sure you continuously pay attention to the problem and whether you're solving it.
Mapping Problems to SolutionsMapping problems to solutions requires considering multiple potential solutions, evaluating their feasibility and effectiveness, and selecting the best option.
- That’s Not a HypothesisTal explains why hypothesis statements are important - "clear learnings come only from clear hypotheses." He then goes on to explain where they come from, how to add support to them, and how to use them as connections between problems and solutions.
Defining SolutionsDefining solutions involves creating a clear plan of action, identifying necessary resources and stakeholders, and considering potential barriers and risks.
- Discovery – Problem vs. SolutionWhile many product teams separate product discovery into problem space and solution space, Marty argues that breakthroughs often happen when we break down that wall. With technology products, exploring potential solutions deepens your understanding of the problem in unexpected ways. Marty claims that most product efforts fail due to lacking a good enough solution, not lack of demand. Therefore, teams should spend most of their discovery time on developing the solution through collaboration between product, design and engineering. Great products come from the interplay between value, Usability and feasibility, not just defining the problem for engineering to solve.