While working on a recent project, I prepared a list of following questions that helped me identify tasks that can lead to features with better, cheaper and faster characteristics.
– Repeatable tasks that can be minimized
– Mundane tasks that can be automated
– Challenging tasks that can be simplified
– Unnecessary tasks that can be removed or hidden
Once these tasks are identified, the next steps was to decide on what actions can be taken to minimize or simplify them. The table below summarizes a simple framework where tasks can be listed with appropriate action to solve them.
The framework allows you to create new categories of task by adding a new row, or defining new actions by adding extra value in the Action column. Finally, you can define the characteristic of each solution (Better/ Cheaper/ Faster) that you have identified for a given problem. Since this framework focuses on finding problem tasks, there is greater flexibility in defining, modifying and reaching a cheaper, better or faster solution.
For example, a common task that many of us do is to interact with phone while walking. Now if this is a problem that you want to solve, you can define a new category called “Hazardous task” by adding a row for it. An action that can “Minimize” the hazardous nature will be to build a proximity sensor in the phone. And you can classify this solution to be “better” than what is already available on phones or what user do today to avoid bumping into someone!