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6 Tips for scoping your Opportunities

6 Tips for scoping your Opportunities

This guide explains why it's important to create Opportunities and how you can do it using TheyDo.

The difference between an inspiring and a non-inspiring Opportunity often comes down to the way they are phrased. In this guide we cover 6 tips to make your Opportunities as inspiring as possible.

#1 Write Opportunities so that they finish the question: ‘How might we …?’

‘How-might-we’ questions are often used in design thinking as input for brainstorming sessions. A good Opportunity should spark many different ideas right away if you put ‘how might we’ in front of it. We call that the ‘how-might-we’ test. As an example:

How might we…

  • ensure more people pay their taxes before the deadline?
  • help employees stay productive and healthy when working from home?
  • make customers feel that their information is safe and secure when creating an account?

Not only does this help you to create inspiring Opportunities, it also helps to keep their phrasing consistent.

“Once we have defined the customer journey, what can we then do with that? How do we define the opportunities and other things we can begin to effect with it?”

“What are you looking for as a business? What are your needs and project goals? If your aim is to improve a certain metric or conversion looking through a lens for opportunity in that journey is a useful place to start. The best way to do this is forget about the goals and focus on the customer experience, making this the bigger focus.”

#2 Focus your Opportunities on the root problems of your customers

Make sure your Opportunities focus on root customer problems, instead of desired outcomes or symptoms of those problems. A good tip is to ask ‘why’. For example; if you’re trying to get helpdesk calls down, try to solve the problem of why users are calling the helpdesk, not the calling itself. 

This often requires research into your customers and the clustering of your insights into core problem areas. Link to underlying customer needs, pain points, or other insights in the detailed opportunity description to make it extra clear how an Opportunity connects to your customer experience. To validate your opportunities further, review and prioritize them with your customers by asking them which would create the most value for them. Questionnaires or card sorting are ideal research methods to do this.

#3 Avoid suggesting Solutions in your Opportunities

Make sure you don’t embed Solutions in the description of your Opportunities. Doing so restricts the pool of possible Solutions that an Opportunity generates. You can do the how-might-we test on the example below: if you turn them into how-might-we questions, the second Opportunity inspires many more Solutions than the first.

#4 Keep your Opportunities broad, yet specific to the root problem

Phrase your Opportunities broadly enough to inspire multiple solutions, but specific enough that you don’t lose sight of the root problem you’re trying to solve. Always ask yourself: Can I phrase the Opportunity more broadly, or more specifically? This will help you to find the level of specificity that inspires the most Solutions. Here too, the how-might-we test can help you pinpoint that sweet spot.

#5 Phrase your Opportunities positively

Stating your Opportunity questions positively can generate more Solutions. Using Opportunities as starting points for generating Solutions also encourages creativity.

#6 Make sure your Opportunities are ‘MECE’: Mutually Exclusive, yet Collectively Exhaustive.

After you’ve created several Opportunities, it’s time to make sure that as a group they are ‘MECE’. ‘Mutually Exclusive’ means that every Opportunity is distinctly separate and does not overlap with other Opportunities, while ‘Collectively Exhaustive’ means that together they cover all important root problems. Making sure your Opportunities are ‘MECE’ will greatly help you down the line to prioritize them and use them to generate distinctly different Solutions that cover all important root problems.

CX lead Kaspar Kazil goes into how to score opportunities for CX improvement and the importance of scoring them properly.

Other things to keep in mind

For the cherry on top, here’s a few things we’ve seen TheyDo experts do:

  • Check for similar Opportunities before you create a new one in order to avoid duplicates. 
  • Label Opportunities to help you and others find and filter them.
  • Aim for 5 to 8 Opportunities per project in order to keep the number of Opportunities manageable.
  • Add visuals to make your Opportunities even more inspiring.

Opportunity checklist

Want to know if you have done it right? Use this checklist to quickly check if your Opportunities are as effective as they can be.

My Opportunity…

☐ Finishes the question ‘How might we …?

☐ Inspires different solutions right away

☐ Focuses on a root-cause problem

☐ Does not suggest any solutions

☐ Is defined broadly enough to be understood by most people

☐ Is framed in a positive way

☐ Is mutually exclusive, yet collectively exhaustive (MECE)

☐ Doesn’t have any existing duplicates in TheyDo

Continue exploring

Learn how to keep overview of all solutions created in your workspace.

This guide explains how you can score and prioritize opportunities quickly and effectively.

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