Tying it together – the full process

Last post we continued our example and discussed Bet creation and how it differs from Belief creation. In this post we’ll tie it together and discuss what the different processes look and feel like in real life. I have attempted to summarize the last two posts in the simple chart below. 

The White and blue arrows indicate our example Strategic Intent that was then concreatized into a Belief which then was formulated into a Bet. In the end the Bet we started the last step (what Merissa Perri calls Solution optimization). There are two ways to view this process. 

The first way is to view it as a sequence. As can be seen in the chart above, the blue arrows line up in a sequence where we go from the very abstract (top left) to the more concrete (bottom right). This is one of the reasons it’s so important that both the mgmt. Team and the Belief owners stay away from defining solutions. If they were to define solutions (or Good ideas) this process would turn into something akin to a waterfall methodology where the solution is designed in earlier phases in build in later. Instead the Mgmt. team should define broad Strategic Intents, the Belief owners should find problems that if solved can move us closer to the Strategic Intent. Even in the Bet creation much of the solutions that are created are of exploratory nature meaning 

The second way is to see it as iterations. Though the chart omits them, there should be arrows going up from each performed experiment and each user research in the Bet creations. This is indeed where the majority of our learnings for our Beliefs take place. The process above could as well be illustrated as a cycle where the learnings from Solution Optimization goes back into Belief creation.

A last important aspect I want to point out is the two different hats of the PM. The PM is both responsible for the Bet creation as well as wearing the “Product Owner” hat when the teams experiment on Bets. The PM therefore needs to have a sort of split vision, simultaneously focusing on the next Bets as well as the here and now. Done well this will let the PM integrate learnings from the experimentation into the next Bet creation.

This concludes the series of posts about the importance of process. Next week I’ll write about why the aspects discussed so far are most important to digital product companies and what distinguishes that type of company.