Shape Up Forum

Outcome tree to guide demand-side shaping

Anyone have thoughts on how to use an opportunity solution tree (demand-side shaping) to support pitch creation (supply-side shaping)?

@nt-from-chicago @rjs @maxhodges @Justin Any thoughts @trust_level_4 @trust_level_3…thoughts?

I’m a fan of Theresa Torres and appreciate her ideas around concepts such as continuous discovery, the product trio and a shared understanding of the customer. Her mantra of establishing a consistent cadence to interview customers is beneficial if you need inputs to understand where demand lives.

That said, I haven’t been able to fit other parts of her framework to Shape Up. For instance, I’ve never used an opportunity tree for our product. To me, it feels like a backlog and requires constant maintenance to stay relevant. Also, I get that she is trying to empower the product trio to be shapers, the betting table AND the delivery leads … but that feels too “heavy” of an ask, plus make it harder for the trio to focus.

This isn’t meant to be critical of her work. No two product teams are alike, and based on the cards you’re dealt within your company (e.g. you’re stuck with agile), her framework may be a great fit for organizing a team.

But for myself, I prefer the “smaller, lighter” feel of Shape Up in terms of team organization, and having a clearer line between demand (shaping) and supply (building).

I think the OST framework, and I think it fits nicely into organizing the demand side. In fact, I feel like it is a perfect compliment to demand-side shaping. How the teams are formed is another topic altogether for sure. @rjs, thoughts?

I’m cautious to endorse any methodology on the demand side of shaping that doesn’t root itself in customer problems. I read the post, the OST puts a desired outcome above all, with only the second level of opportunities being described as customer needs or pain points. That’s a slippery slope.

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The desired outcome is “put above all” if it is a known metric/outcome. Sometimes we do not know the desired outcome. That said, the OST is perfectly designed to accommodate discovery around the opportunity space (demand-side) first before an outcome is defined. When a desired outcome is defined, it can itself be a very user-centric goal, e.g., reduce the streaming video content surf time (for x users) from 15 minutes to 2 minutes while ensuring the presented content is relevant to the user. I imagine it is unlikely though that a desired outcome cannot be known; and, also, if it were known, the likelihood it hinders discovery is only a result of not defining an outcome that meets the needs of a target user while also meeting the needs of the business.