# Solution Definition

# Phase: 🎨 Problem shaping
Focus: Align


Time commitment: 2-4 hours
Difficulty: Difficult
Materials needed: Meeting space (physical or virtual), notetaking tools (physical or virtual)
Who should participate: Everyone on the product team
Best for: Capturing a decision on how to move from ideating to prototyping and testing, including a definition of success

# About this tool

While potential solutions crop up at every stage of the design process, it can be very important — particularly in asynchronous and distributed organizations — to formally capture those solutions as a point of inflection for moving into the prototyping and testing phases (or moving back into them, if you're repeating a cycle after integrating your learnings). Gaining agreement and consensus is particularly important at this stage, because moving into prototyping often involves bringing in team members, like visual designers, who may not have the full range of context that led up to this point of decision-making.

With that in mind, including the following considerations in your solution-definition exercise can be particularly helpful and save stress, conflict and wasted work in the future:

  • Collect, collate and if useful pre-vote on all your convergent problem-shaping artifacts, such as insight statements, scenario maps, storyboards or business model canvases
  • Gather as many different members of the product team as possible, ideally initially in a synchronous format because the starter discussions in this exercise can benefit immensely from rapid back-and-forth feedback. If you have members of the product team who haven't been involved yet, but will be, be sure to include them too; you're defining the future of their work in this exercise.
  • Discuss, discuss, discuss! Remember that innovation lives at the intersection of three Venn circles: human desirability, business viability, and technical technical feasibility. The aim is to agree upon a few potential solutions that will then be prototyped and tested, so if you hit disagreements, remembering that this isn't a final decision — and that you'll probably be iterating back to this discussion in the future — may help people compromise.
  • Once you've settled on solutions, be sure to define what success means for each solution, too; this will be critical when you're writing up test plans for the prototypes you create.
  • Create a central location for your solution definitions to live (this can just be a document in a GitHub repo, or something more polished and formal). Be sure to include justifications for your solutions, as well as links to any source documents that contributed to their development.
  • High-five your team members; this may be the most difficult part of a product design journey.