Prioritizing Problems

12 March, 2019 1 minutes read

Here's an interesting sentence I just picked up while reading this interesting product management book -

Success is a function of a team’s ability to uncover a problem 1

The reason I was so drawn to that quote was that it aligns beautifully with a team initiative I'm working on these days: Prioritizing problems over solutions.

When prioritizing user stories in its classic form as a user I want to do _____ so I can ____ I found out that the conversation went quickly into solutions that would empower the user to do new things or extend their ability to do use existing affordances, all fun and games but I was often left with a feeling that even though the general direction is forward we're working around core issues instead of tacking them heads on.

Prioritizing problems does three things for the team: * It will make us go into a continuous product discovery process involving direct communication with users to formalize a list of issues * after prioritizing will allow us to create hypothesis around what solution would address the most important problems in the optimal way from a user standpoint. * Make the key results clear + easy to communicative.


  1. Banfield, R., Eriksson, M., & Walkingshaw, N. (2017). Product leadership: How top product managers create and launch successful products. Beijing: OReilly.