The opportunity-solution tree is a visual tool for product discover popularized by Teresa Torres.

Creating an opportunity-solution tree begins by identifying a desired outcome, focused on a specific metric. Then, identify opportunities to help achieve the metric from user research or other discovery activities. Note that not every opportunity or pain point uncovered in user research will be included in the tree; it should represent a patter in the research, not a unique case.

Group similar opportunities together. They may be siblings; or, opportunities may have sub-opportunities. Pay close attention to sibling relationships, which can help articulate some of the nuances within an opportunity.

Be sure to avoid opportunities that are framed from your company's perspective. As well, be mindful of opportunities that have multiple parent opportunities. This is a sign that it may not be specific enough.

Opportunities then branch out into solutions that should be tested to determine if they will have the desired impact. Opportunities should yield multiple solutions; if they do not, it might mean they are actually solutions themselves.

This method can help break big opportunities into more manageable chunks of work, as well as help prioritize opportunities. Torres recommends considering opportunity size, market factors, company factors, and customer factors when prioritizing; but, she cautions against pseudo-quantitative scoring systems. She advises keeping the prioritization messy because it is, after all, an ill-structured problem.


Related

Citations

Torres, Teresa. Continuous Discovery Habits: Discover Products That Create Customer Value and Business Value. IAC: Product Talk LLC, 2021.