Practical Tips for Making Your Product Discovery Sessions More ProductiveLAB325
We in LAB325 consider product discovery sessions as a key part of the product development process. These sessions involve getting feedback from stakeholders and customers to help define and understand further product decisions.
They are crucial for creating successful products that meet customer needs. However, it can be difficult to make these sessions productive, as there can be a lot of opinions and conflicting ideas. To ensure you get the most out of your product discovery sessions, here are some practical tips from our team to help make them more effective. These strategies will help you stay focused, ensure that everyone is heard, and produce meaningful results that can be used to inform product decisions. With these tips, you can make the most out of your product discovery sessions and create successful products.
Well, let’s open the curtain of our inner kitchen a little.
What are product discovery sessions?
There are a few different terms that are sometimes used interchangeably with “product discovery sessions,” including “discovery workshops,” “product ideation sessions,” and “user research.”
Discovery workshops are a specific type of product discovery session that focuses solely on generating new ideas.
Product ideation sessions are a type of product discovery session that focuses solely on generating ideas for a specific product feature or problem.
User research is a broader term that refers to any research conducted to understand customer needs and behavior. These sessions can include a combination of user research and product ideation and they are typically conducted at the start of a new product cycle to help you get feedback on the product vision, generate new product ideas, and test different product concepts. They can also be used throughout the product development process to help you get feedback on product prototypes or beta versions or to learn about specific customer segments.
Benefits of product discovery sessions
Product discovery is crucial for creating successful products because it allows you to understand customer needs and pain points. It also helps you identify product difficulties or opportunities that need to be addressed. In addition, product discovery sessions help you identify gaps in your product vision, generate new ideas for product features and functionality, and identify potential product roadblocks. It is also useful for building relationships with stakeholders and customers. It allows you to better understand their needs and concerns, and build trust and credibility with them. Finally, product discovery sessions are useful for testing different product concepts, like product features or designs, and identifying potential product issues or concerns.
- uncover customer needs;
- generate new product ideas;
- test different product concepts.
Prepare for your product discovery session
Before diving into your discovery session, you’ll want to do some preparation. First, identify the people who will be involved in the discovery session. This may be the entire product team, potential customers, stakeholders, or a combination of the three.
Next, identify the desired outcomes of the session:
- What are you trying to get out of the discovery session?
- What information do you want to learn?
- What product issues do you want to address? Having clear objectives can ensure that you stay focused during the session and get the most value out of it. You’ll also want to think about the type of discovery session you’ll be conducting.
- Will you be doing a product ideation session?
- Or will you be conducting user research?
- Alternatively, will you be conducting both?
- Or will you be doing something else?
Having a clear understanding of the type of discovery session you’ll be running will help you prepare for it.
Establish clear objectives
When you’re getting prepared for your product discovery session, you’ll also want to establish clear objectives.
We at LAB325 are ready to provide the next practical guide. Use the structure below for your further product strategy sessions:
- What do you hope to learn from the session?
- What information do you want to get out of the session?
- What product issues do you hope to address?
Having clear objectives will help you stay focused during the discovery session, and get the most value out of it. It will also make it easier to identify whether the session was successful. In addition to establishing general objectives, you’ll also want to consider the specific types of customers you want to meet with during the discovery session:
- Do you want to focus on a specific customer segment?
- Or meet with a broad range of customers?
- What type of customers do you want to focus on?
This will help you identify the people you want to invite to the session, and the types of questions you want to ask them.
Make sure everyone is heard
After the discovery session has ended, you may notice that some people didn’t participate much during the session. They may have remained quiet or even felt intimidated by the discussion. Or you may see that some people dominated the conversation, speaking much more than others. Regardless of the situation, you want to make sure that everyone is heard during the discovery session. You want to ensure that all participants are actively involved in the discussion. This can be challenging, especially if there are large differences in skill level or experience. However, there are a few things you can try to make sure everyone is heard. Here are a few strategies for making sure everyone is heard during the discovery session.
You also want to encourage collaboration during the discovery session. This can be challenging because you’re getting feedback from stakeholders and customers who have different perspectives. You may have people in the session who have very different ideas, or who are vying for certain product features. You want to encourage a collaborative environment where everyone offers their feedback and respects the feedback of others. This will ensure that you get the most out of the session, and get the most valuable feedback possible. You can encourage collaboration by creating an open and inclusive environment during the discovery session. This can include setting up an open space where people can easily collaborate and share ideas. You can also consider using collaborative tools like online whiteboards or collaborative documents where people can collaborate online. You can also create an environment where people feel comfortable giving and receiving feedback. This can include permitting people to voice their concerns and giving feedback about the product. It can also mean creating an environment where people feel safe giving and receiving feedback. This can include encouraging people to ask questions and thanking them for giving feedback.
Keep discussions focused
You may notice that people start discussing tangents during the discovery session. They may start talking about unrelated topics or discussing ideas that aren’t applicable to the product. This can be challenging, especially if you’re inviting stakeholders to the discovery session. Keeping discussions focused can be difficult if you invite stakeholder groups that have different areas of expertise. However, there are a few strategies you can try to keep discussions focused during the discovery session.
Capture insights and feedback
After the discovery session, you may also want to capture insights and feedback from participants. This can be helpful for later reference and can help you to stay organized. There are a few different ways you can capture insights and feedback from participants. You can ask them to fill out a short survey where they provide feedback on the product and specific features. You can also consider conducting an ideation session where participants are invited to contribute ideas for product features or functionality. Furthermore, you can use an online tool like a collaborative document or a Slack channel to collect ideas and feedback. This allows you to collect feedback and insights in one place, making it easier to stay organized. You can also ask participants to write down their feedback on sticky notes or post-it notes. This allows them to provide detailed feedback in their own words, which can be helpful when you’re trying to sort through all the information.
Follow up after the session
Another strategy for capturing insights and feedback from participants is to follow up after the session. You can use a follow-up survey or an online tool like a collaborative document to collect feedback after the session. This can help collect feedback from a more significant number of participants. It can also help receive more detailed feedback from participants. Follow-up surveys and online tools can also help receive input from people who couldn’t attend the discovery session due to time constraints or other reasons. This can help receive feedback from customers and stakeholders who aren’t part of the product team.
Tips for running successful product discovery sessions
Before you start the discovery session, make sure to set the right expectations. Let participants know what they are expected to do and provide clear instructions on how to participate. Make sure everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions.
During the session, make sure to keep track of time and stay on track. It’s important to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to share their thoughts and contribute to the discussion.
Finally, be sure to follow up with participants after the session. This is a great way to capture additional insights and feedback from participants who weren’t able to attend the session in person.
Product discovery sessions are an essential tool for product teams to gain insights into the needs and wants of their customers. Product teams can ensure that their discovery sessions are successful by setting clear expectations, staying on track, and following up with participants after the session.
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