Creating products and services that people love takes more than just building an app. It takes a deep understanding of unmet customer needs, a clear focus on the right opportunities, and a lean, rigorous, iterative design process. Most innovations fail because, at some point in the development process, teams lose sight of what customers really want to achieve.
I believe that by and large, innovation and product development teams focus too much on feature ideas, and lose sight of desired outcomes.
This is quite natural. As human beings, we have a deep rooted tendency to focus on solutions (i.e. feature ideas) and lose sight of the outcomes we want to achieve. Our habit is to express our needs (and ﬁght for them) in terms of speciﬁc solutions, rather than desired outcomes. Look at how product development teams work day-to-day and in particular, for example, how they use product backlogs.
In most organisations, product backlogs focus on feature ideas. In theory, these are meant to clearly describe a user’s desired outcomes as well. But in practice they rarely do, and almost never do it well. This is because feature backlogs and user stories are, ﬁrst and foremost, tools to describe solutions to be elaborated and engineered, rather than desired outcomes.