The very first thing we want to do is we want to make sure that we fall in love with the problem. Now it's really, really tempting to start jumping to conclusions; to start coming up with solutions to our problem before we've really vetted the problem.
We can kind of think of this like an A3. The first section that you fill out in an A3 is not the countermeasures. First you definine the problem. Let͛s do it now as an example exercise for you to do walking through this. Think of a current problem that you have. Write it down (go ahead, really).
The first thing you do is make sure you truly understand the problem, and that's really what we're talking about here. Totally immerse yourself into what that problem is. Now the cool and interesting part of this is that you are already doing that, because we're talking about addressing your problem. So, you're already immersed. It's not an academic issue. It's something that you're living, something that you're experiencing.
But we also know that there are other folks that have different perspectives on this issue. So, part of what we want to do is make sure that we understand it from all of those other perspectives or as many as we can discover, as many as we can define, as many as we can explore. We call this a flair process. We want to get as much information as we can, and there's no such thing as bad information. The more information we have about the problem and the different perspectives; what are the folks upstream doing that impacts the problem that you're addressing? What about the folks downstream? If you fix your problem, what does that do to, with, or for them? We want to make sure that we put on as many pairs of shoes as we can, right? Walk in the shoes of the other folks and see what it looks like from their perspective.
This is a portion of the Appendix from "Standing On Shoulders: A Leader's Guide to Digital Transformation".
It is taken directly from a workshop I do on design thinking. It is lightweight enough to use for team retrospectives, and still powerful enough to use for product, service, or process development.