“Continuous Discovery Habits” (book review)

  1. Outcome-oriented — This mindset is all about shifting from a focus on the code shipped (‘output’) to constantly driving the value that the code creates for customers and the business (‘outcomes’).
  2. Customer-centric — The customer is at the centre of our world. It requires us to not lose sight of the primary purpose of a business: to create and serve a customer.
  3. Collaborative — This mindset requires us to embrace the cross-functional nature of digital product work and reject the siloed model, where we hand off deliverables through stage gates.
  4. Visual — In the book, Torres provides readers with practical ways to express our thoughts differently. So many businesses tend to use PowerPoint and Word documents as prevailing communication methods. Instead, the visual mindset that Torres advocates encourages us to draw, externalise our thinking and map what we know.
  5. Experimental — How can we best develop and hone an experimental mindset? Something that I personally refer to as a “try and learn” approach.
  6. Continuous — Rather than thinking about discovery as something that we that do at the beginning of a project, Torres encourages us to infuse discovery continuously throughout the product development process.
  • Business Outcomes: Measure business value (e.g. retention, revenue)
  • Product Outcomes: Measure how the product drives business value (e.g. small business applying for loans to grow their business)
  • Traction Metrics: Track usage of specific features (e.g. click through rate, adding documents to the platform, conversion)
Only include opportunities that are relevant your outcome — Taken from Teresa Torres: https://learn.producttalk.org/p/opportunity-mapping
Mapping ideas or potential solutions against the different opportunities — Taken from Teresa Torres: https://www.producttalk.org/2016/08/opportunity-solution-tree/
  • Set the scope of your experience map — Start with your desired outcome and ‘work backwards’.
  • Start individually to avoid groupthink — To avoid groupthink, it’s critical that each member of the team or the product trio (engineer-designer-product manager) start by developing their own perspective before working together to create a shared perspective. This approach will help avoid groupthink, where a group of individuals underperform due to the dynamics of the group.
  • Draw the experience map — Torres argues that drawing is more specific than language. Drawing out the different steps of the customer’s interactions with your product will create a concrete shared understanding of the current ‘baseline’.
Create a snapshot of your customer interview — Taken from Teresa Torres: https://www.producttalk.org/2021/04/design-justice/
  1. Barbara Tversky, Mind in Motion
  2. https://marcabraham.com/2019/07/09/my-product-management-toolkit-38-discovering-opportunities-and-solutions/
  3. https://www.producttalk.org/2016/08/opportunity-solution-tree/
  4. https://learn.producttalk.org/p/opportunity-mapping
  5. https://dragonboat.io/escaping-the-build-trap/
  6. https://miro.com/blog/mapping-product-teams-teresa-torres/



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Product at Intercom, author of "My Product Management Toolkit" and “Managing Product = Managing Tension” — see https://bit.ly/3gH2dOD.