Recently, the concept of the Opportunity Solution Tree, or OST for short, has gained significant prominence in the product development field. What is it, and how can organizations implement it? Read on!
What is OST?
The Opportunity Solutions Tree is a structured model that illuminates the path from product objectives to actionable solutions.
An opportunity within OST framework refers to a factor that can facilitate reaching the desired outcome. Integration of the framework into the product discovery process yields several advantages:
- Holistic problem assessment: OST encourages teams to explore opportunities before diving into solutions, broadening their perspective and generating diverse development possibilities.
- Goal-centric approach: by positioning the business goal at the apex, OST ensures that every solution remains closely tied to the overarching objective. It fosters goal-driven development rather than feature-centric approaches.
- User-centric research: OST enforces a logical progression from goal to opportunity to solution, guaranteeing that every solution is rooted in a product opportunity. This underscores the importance of user-focused development.
- Opportunity prioritization: with numerous opportunities often accompanying products and business goals, OST aids in identifying which to pursue further.
- Focused research: OST directs user research toward specific opportunities and solutions, ensuring that research efforts are concentrated on the right areas and assumptions are verified effectively.
How to Apply Opportunity Solution Tree?
The application of the OST model can be split in seven fundamental stages:
- Defining the business goal.
- Identifying key opportunities that align with it.
- Breaking down significant opportunities into smaller, more specific statements.
- Generating potential alternatives for each opportunity.
- Designing experiments to validate the proposed solutions.
- Establishing clear next steps for high-potential opportunities.
- Iterating the process.
Continuous discovery, guided by the opportunity solution tree, ensures sustained focus on user needs and business goals throughout the product development journey. This approach minimizes distractions and keeps the team working collectively toward the ultimate goal of success.