Whoever asks won’t be misled
Problem (UNDERSTANDING/COMMON LANGUAGE).
Here we move a bit further than I’ve described in:
Start-up idea - Project description - Venture’s start
How do you move from the idea to the project once you have all parameters such as cost, time and surely, the scope? On one hand, we have ideas, chaos, enthusiasm, thoughts, and brainstorming; on the other hand, countable parameters that make our vision realistic and doable. How can we reach the other side?
What is the guideline? Starting from simple questions and mapping them on the dedicated project field, we find what is really important in a certain order, beginning with the problem, by the objectives to the solution; and crucially, we’ll still be operating within the project context.
All Projects are different, with attributes such as “unique” and “unrepeatable;” some of them require thorough research starting from the inventor. Once we have the earliest phase of the project and the idea is fresh, we should then start from the bottom of the questions list. The whole project is just starting and can follow a path that we might not have even expected. Therefore, the technical solution can be completely different than we imagined in the beginning, or our target groups’ order can be totally rearranged. Examples can be found everywhere such as Web or Mobile, subscriptions or a one-time fee, or even customers or vendors first .. Obviously we can also get stuck or figure out that it can’t be done, but it is always better to find this knowledge while gaining our million rather than spending it :)
On the the other hand, other projects are partially defined or restricted somehow from what may be provided through context or earlier studies. If our problems and ideas align to the FinTech industry, such as payment gateways, we wouldn’t consider the cash register as a product solution. In such cases, we can only choose those questions which can enrich our project definition. Sometimes it may happen that while building the products, we may forget about the business aspects, as dissemination of services, outcomes, knowledge and deliverables understood as a promotion, and users acquisition. While answering our questions it can be stated that such a dissemination is not the next step after implementation, but a very important part of the main process performed within the project.
People are also different. Just as it’s not likely to find the same two DNA codes, people may require a different approach in communication, such as graphs, boards with fields to fill, animations and plays. If so, let’s convert our questions into canvas using one of the available templates from Lean or Business.
Others which require a more concrete or introverted approach may just wish to use a simple, flat list sent via email.
The advantage is that we still have a simple table with questions where you can mark those topics which should be asked at a particular stage and sent to the client.
While going through our questions we should always prioritize the answers which will be helpful during the project aims definition or that further divides our scope into phases (e.g. POC or MVP). Priorities depend on the types of questions we can have; for example the three level scale: High, Medium, Low or Must be, Should be, Nice to Have or Crucial, Important, Optional etc.
So, who wants to be a millionaire? They have to answer 15 questions to turn the idea into a doable venture.
|Activity||(NEW) Project knowledge||What will we learn?|
|1.||What's your story?|
Who are you?
What's your idea?
Where/when/how have you invented this venture?
What was your breakthrough?
|Project context||To deeply understand the project we have to know all its aspects|
|2.||What were you facing?|
What obstacles did you face?
What was the problem?
Why couldn't it be resolved?
What did you do for a workaround?
|Project chain - towards aims||Define the problem|
What the real objectives of the project are
What our app/solution/product has to do in terms of solving the stated problem..
|3.||What are your needs and what do you require?|
What are your needs to resolve problems?
What do you require to reach the proper level of resolution?
|Project aims||What the aims are|
What the aims of the project are
|4.||What is the challenge?|
What do your competitors do?
What're your advantages?
|Context and Commercialization||To deeply understand the project we have to know all its aspects|
Where the money is and how the competitors earn it.
|5.||What are the user stories?|
What are the main activities which should be covered to meet their needs?
What are important activities which should be covered to meet their needs?
What are activities that are nIce to have which should be covered to meet their needs?
|Project scope||List of project tasks with priority and dependances|
List of functions and features
List of acceptance criteria
|6.||How is success defined - acceptance criteria?|
What must be gained in order to state the stories are DONE ?
|Project scope||Knowing when the user interaction is finished|
|7.||Who are your customers?|
B2B - what are the ways of earning?
B2C - what are the ways of earning?
What do your users use (technology, industry, sport, eating etc)?
Age? Job? Sex? Interests?
How do you deliver your solution?
How do you deliver the knowledge of your solutions?
The correct channels for products and for information
The most efficient solution
|8.||Why do they pay for your solution?|
What's your unique value?
What's your core value?
What are your advantages?
How's the breakthrough for them?
How much are they going to pay?
|Underlining its advantages|
What should be strengthened
|9.||What are you dependent on?|
Are there any source/integration/people/things which are limiting you?
Do you have any key partners or suppliers?
|Costs calculation Business risks detection|
|10.||Can we adjust our stories in logic chains of repeatable steps/user flow?|
How may the users interact with the solution - where are the priorities?
|UX and UI approaches|
Clickable prototype of the app
|11.||Where are your limits?|
|Project parameters||What the estimated cost of the app is and when it can be delivered|
|12.||Do we have a timeline? Let's plan your project|
Maintenance and Development ?
|High level project plan||What can be done as MVP, Post MVP, Full version|
What is needed for launch
When the launch is needed
How we can facilitate the process (marketing, SEO)
What is needed for an average day
|13.||What are your inspirations - what should it look like?|
Mobile app/we pages
|UI identification - Key Visual||UI design - inspirations|
|14.||Have you considered the technical solution?|
Do you know any technical limits?
|15.||Do you know any limits from functional or technical points of view?|
The simple questionnaire can be effortlessly converted into a Lean Startup Canvas or Business Canvas, or it can be simply supported by those techniques.
The Questionnaire can be easily adapted to a particular venture by choosing to adjust questions following the scale of the idea.
The objective and the art’s purpose is to ask proper questions, driving the answers to particular project areas. There are only 15 blocks of questions - whoever asks won’t be misled.