Define post

The define mode is clearly an important step in the design thinking process.  While we began our project with some clear initiatives, the define phase became evidently imperative as the empathy stage not only validated some of the concerns we anticipated, but really brought to light the different directions our “problem” could take.  When we culminated the different thoughts, actions, quotes and feelings, we were able to comb through the different reactions and group similar items and themes to one need that we can hope to solve.  We were able to see patterns that we hadn’t anticipated, like seating, and validated patterns we hypothesized, like timing.  We were able to define a few users, but narrowed our focus to a unique set that filled a greater context.  We felt as though we better understood our target user due to the feedback of our data set.  While our need was currently narrowed down to “control”, that was actually more of an insight that linked the various behaviors and actions, (whether actual or desired).  However, our defined insight was also a bridge between conflicting statements, including, “eliminate haste/waste, open bar seating — awesome” that gave us clues as to how we can help create a more enjoyable experience for the casual diner.

Work life is currently like one big empathy phase.  We surprisingly [at Smithfield] have found ourselves in a whirlwind of transition with both a Chinese buyout and a IOC merger.  In the midst of this turmoil, I’m constantly grabbing at solving for the current state while preparing for the future state.  We are a new group of category insights and each day the list of possible needs grows.  The ability to define a specific challenge is of utmost importance if for no other reason, we will not be able to solve all of life/work’s problems with category management.  A short specific focus is the only way we will stand a chance of accomplishing any (if even small) wins.

A possible POV would include:

Sales needs simplicity and clarity to understand the opportunities to grow WITH their customer.