What do you get when you talk to customers?
I just finished a large round of customer interviews and was reminded of something in Tony Ulwick’s great book, What Customers Want.
When you talk to customers, they don’t give you “requirements.” In fact, requirements don’t really exist. The statements they make can be separated into four buckets:
The sketches above give you an idea of what that sounds like. Usually, these statements aren’t directly actionable by the product team and need to be “unpacked” to some degree. You need to translate what you’re hearing into either:
Outcomes they’re trying to create
Goals they’re trying to achieve
Jobs they need to get done
Constraints they’re under (don’t forget these!)
There’s lots of information available on how to translate the statements into actionable insights: you can use Tony’s book, refer to The Jobs-to-be-Done Handbook, go with the Lean Startup approach, or use the traditional Cooper design methodology.
Talk to customers, but don’t take their statements at face value.