Opportunity Solution Trees are a technique that helps connect strategy, design thinking, and agile product development. It lets Product Leaders, Product Managers and Product Owners help their organizations escape the feature factory trap to become more outcome-driven.

Many Product Managers/Product Owners are stuck a the trap where they are told to build one feature after another, not feeling that they build the right things. The below two quotes tell what is needed to get out of that trap:

  • One from Jeff Patton: “When I behave like a waiter, a customer tells me what they want and I need to work it out and get it to them. A doctor’s job is to solve your problems, not do what you want.”
  • One from Henry Ford: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

Opportunity Solution Trees offers Product Managers/Product Owners a methodology and a clear path to make this change, towards being doctors rather than waiters, and towards building cars rather than just faster horses.

Core to making this happen is stepping up and becoming an actual thought partner to the rest of the business by having a perspective that connects business goals, the problems of the users, and potential features.

Participants of the course will learn about Opportunity Solution Trees, and try them out with realistic examples. The goal is to become better at making the goal-problem-feature link, and to be able to communicate that link with the business

Who this course is for

  • This is a course for Product Leaders, Product Managers and Product Owners that want to become more outcome driven.
  • It is beneficial if you either already speak with your users or believe you could get the approval to start doing so (as much of the course is about benefiting from that).
  • It is also beneficial if you have a setup where you more or less work on a fixed product/area with a dedicated team (as the method requires some stability).

Learning outcomes for this course

  • How to agree on a product outcome
  • How to create an Opportunity Solution Tree (OST)
  • How to fill an OST with real quotes from interviews
  • How to enable prioritization with OST by applying structure
  • How to use OST with leadership to prioritize on opportunity level
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