Even in the most collaborative development settings, the product ideation process can become a siloed task, which is why savvy companies utilize a product ideation framework that encourages team member involvement. The truth is you can’t always predict where good ideas will originate. By implementing a product ideation framework, your organization can ensure that it doesn’t miss out on a great idea.
Product ideation will be critical if you want to develop the most successful web or mobile app. This post will explain what a product ideation framework is, why it is important to the development process, and an easy way to implement product ideation to generate your company’s next great idea.
What Is a Product Ideation Framework?
Idea generation can seem like a daunting task when there are endless possibilities. A product ideation framework is designed to help businesses develop new ideas by focusing on market weakness, internal strengths, and related possibilities. Imagine that a vast desert represents every product possibility. How does your business begin to focus its efforts in such a vast, open space?
A product ideation framework establishes boundaries and form. A framework transforms the vast, open desert into a manageable sandbox. A framework focuses the product ideation process and allows companies to generate good ideas in less time. However, for your product ideation process to succeed, you need more than a framework.
You must also bring together the entire development team of developers, product designers, QA testers, business analysts, and product owners, in addition to the product leader. You have more experience, insight, and technical knowledge as a team. Any team member might be responsible for your organization’s next great idea.
A product ideation framework not only gives form to the ideation process but also establishes procedures and rules of engagement for sharing and discussing ideas. After all, the product leader will still be responsible for the project’s end result. An ideation framework helps leaders leverage the collective knowledge and expertise of their entire development team and focus efforts on ideas that will work and are aligned with the company’s objectives.
The Importance of a Product Ideation Framework
Adopting a product ideation framework will help your organization create a more collaborative, resourceful development team and culture. The most significant benefits associated with product ideation frameworks include:
- Elimination of waste
- Sparks innovation
- Aligns the development team
- Generates fresh ideas
Elimination of Waste
Failing to extract all of the creative potential out of your team is wasteful. A product ideation framework eliminates waste by leveraging the unique creative capabilities of your entire team. Your business has taken the time to hire a diverse team of developers, designers, security professionals, etc. Leverage all of your team members’ experience and creativity to create an innovative product that delights users and meets business objectives.
Innovation rarely is born in isolation. Collaboration and discussion are the quickest paths to innovation. Adopting a product ideation framework helps spark innovation within your project. The collaboration of the unique perspectives, talents, and experiences of your team members will lead to more innovative ideas and solutions.
Aligns the Development Team
A product ideation framework is very valuable because it helps align all team members and stakeholders with the ultimate vision and goal of the business. Moving in multiple directions is far too easy when your team is not aligned with a common goal or vision. An ideation framework gives all team members a reference point and ensures that creativity and collaboration focus on ideas that will benefit the organization.
Generates Fresh Ideas
It is very difficult for product managers to come up with fresh ideas on their own. The more collaborative the ideation process, the more fresh ideas your business will generate. It is far too easy to get stuck in the same thought patterns. However, when you introduce new perspectives and talents, it is easier for everyone to shift or change their perspective and develop new ideas.
Product Ideation Done Simply
Most great ideas are simple. We are not going to overcomplicate the product ideation process. The simplest way to implement a strong product ideation framework in your processes is to break product ideation into its core components:
- Desired outcome
Your business should start the product ideation process at the end. What result are you looking for? Perhaps you want to generate more sales, increase brand awareness, or decrease the bounce rate of your website or application. Whatever you identify as the fundamental drivers of your product or business will be your desired outcome.
You could have a single desired outcome or multiple outcomes. However, each outcome must be treated as a separate entity for product ideation. Your desired outcome will be the fixed point of the entire product ideation framework. Therefore, every possible solution discussed should be measured against the desired outcome you have defined.
Once you have defined the desired outcome of your product or business, you can start exploring the problems that stand in the way of achieving that outcome. Your business won’t ever reach its desired outcome if it can’t define the problems standing in its way. Accurately identifying the problems standing in the way of your desired outcome requires experience and creativity.
If your team can’t understand the problems surrounding the company’s desired outcome, they won’t be able to generate any valuable solutions. As you begin reviewing the problems blocking your desired outcome, discuss which problems are the most detrimental to realizing this outcome. If your team stays rooted to the desired outcome, it will have a stronger chance of generating a winning solution.
You can’t begin to generate or even debate solutions without an outcome and a list of problems. Now that you have spent the time to accurately identify these elements, your team can begin to ideate. Great solutions not only address the problems blocking the desired outcome but also exploit market weakness.
The best way to choose a solution is to debate and experiment. For example, if your desired outcome is to generate more sales, A/B test the top contending solutions to determine which one actually performs the best.
A winning idea is typically not simply stumbled upon. Generally, if you want to develop a great idea, you have to collaborate, ideate, test, and repeat. Implementing a product ideation framework will help your business create a culture and system that is able to produce winning idea after winning idea. If you want to learn more about how to craft a product ideation framework for your business, reach out to an app development partner.