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Feb. 22, 2022

Simple framework for value oriented discovery

Simple framework for value oriented discovery

How should we be thinking about discovery when it comes to 1st meetings?

First of all, we need to fully understand all the ins and outs of what's going on and the factors involved in the problem.

3 common mistakes:

  • We’re tempted to rush the discovery 
  • We don’t ask great questions, we keep it too light 
  • We’re asking the right questions to the wrong people 

These are the things getting in the way of your sessions, so I’ve come up with this 4 Box Framework, that allows you to execute great discoveries.


#1 Current situation and current problem 

This is where we start in the discovery process. Think of it as the high-level information of what's going on. This is the part of the conversation where they tell you what's happening and expand on their problem or you uncover this with good questions.  

Ask yourself:

  • How many people are involved? 
  • How many employees?
  • Where are they based?


#2 Impact of the problem

This is the “so what?” 

You should be finding out why this is something worth working on and who/what is impacted and if there is a way to measure the impact. Understand your priorities. 

  • Why should they and why should we spend time and effort fixing this problem?
  • Who’s upset the most and where's the real impact of the problem?


#3 Ideal Future

This is the place they want to get to. 

You have to find out what it would look like if they were to solve the problem. We want to understand if they are looking for guidance from us and we want to understand what their view is of this ideal future, so we can help get them there. 


#4 Positive Impact

 Who’s the happiest and why? Who’s getting that promotion and what’s going to work faster now? 

We want to understand what the real impact is going to be. 

One thing I've observed over the years is that we over-index our time on the current situation and the current problem. So, we spend too much time on the left-hand side of the box and not enough on the right side. If you imagine these 4 boxes - they aren't usually evenly distributed across the page and they should be!

I encourage you to look at those boxes and be honest with yourself. A good tip to remember is for each of those boxes to prepare your questions. Be ready with question prompts for each box so that if and when you have questions you're able to look at the sheet of paper and look at the question prompts to take the conversation to that area!