Intro to Solutions

Intro to Solutions

Solutions help you to capture and prioritize ideas or concepts for new features, products, and services. This guide explains how to make the most out of solutions in TheyDo.

After you have defined and prioritized your key problem areas using Opportunities, it’s time to come up with solutions to those problems. Solutions help you to capture and prioritize ideas or concepts for new features, products, and services. You can use them in brainstorming sessions to map new ideas, or to make an inventory of existing ones. They also help you to link features, products, or services that have already been implemented to your journeys. This helps to show you where they have an impact on your customer experience.

In this guide we will introduce Solutions and help you understand:

Why map solutions in TheyDo

Mapping solution in TheyDo helps you do several things:

  • Create an inspiring idea inventory: Solutions in TheyDo help you to capture new ideas and existing features all in one place. This helps you to keep things manageable while also helping you to communicate your most important insights to others. Every solution you create is saved in the solution repository and can be used by anyone else in their journeys. Therefore a solution you create can inspire others and the other way around.
  • Focus on the right solutions: Solutions help you articulate ideas and concepts and prioritize which ones are crucial to your customers or business. Because they are linked to your journeys and opportunities, it’s often very clear what the context of a solution is and how they will generate impact. The more journey steps a solution is linked to, the more relevant a solution is. This helps ensure that you pick solutions that solve the right problems.
  • Track and validate your backlog: TheyDo offers deep integration with tools like Jira and Azure Devops. This makes it the perfect place to re-connect your backlog to your customer journeys. This in turn helps product teams to better understand why they’re building what they’re building. It also helps to re-evaluate and validate if your backlog addresses the right problems for your customers. Lastly, this also helps you track what’s being worked on from within the context of your journeys.

Solutions in the journey management workflow

Solutions play a role in the solution discovery stage of the Triple Diamond workflow. This stage comes after the problem discovery phase, where you identify and prioritize the key problems to solve for your customers. After prioritizing your best solution concepts and ideas, you can push the solutions with the highest potential to your backlog using our Jira or Azure Devops integration.

TheyDo enables you to manage the entire innovation process around journeys. Basically, we help you tie Journeys, Opportunities and Solutions together to create a unified overview of the entire product and service architecture.

Creating solutions

You can create solutions in two ways:

  • In any journey, create a solution lane. From there, click in the solution lane under any step to add an opportunity to that step.
  • In the solution repository, click on ‘create new’ to create a new solution. You can add any solution to any journey.

Defining solutions

Click on any solution card to open the Solution canvas. The more detail you add to your solutions, the more inspiring and useful they will be. Let’s break down each of the elements of a solution and what they do.

Basic properties

These elements help you to define a solution and show how things are linked.

  • Title – Giving a simple recognizable name
  • Header image – use a quick visual so people can scan the solution
  • Description – adding a description what this solution does
  • Creator – TheyDo timestamps creation of a solution
  • Opportunity – TheyDo automatically adds solutions linked to opportunities
  • Journeys – TheyDo automatically adds solutions linked to journey steps
  • Comments – use these at the bottom to @-mention or comment
  • Rating – using the Design Thinking methodology each solution has a 5-point scale for Desirability, Feasibility and Viability.

Extra properties

Using the grey menu on the right column, you can add more custom properties to the solution. These are optional.

  • Goals – Give a visual goal or metric to define success
  • Attachments – upload files or research docs that are relevant
  • Linked solutions – If multiple solutions have a relationship, you can connect the dots
  • Links – external URL’s

Categorization

These properties are used to connect, filter and view solutions together in the repository. Also, they are visually represented on the cards in journeys. This helps you keep overview and prevents duplicates.

  • Owner – Who is responsible for this Solution?
  • Integrations – Link it to Epics, Stories or Tasks in your Product management tool
  • Status – What is the current status (or synced from your pm tool)
  • Group – What group in the organization or product is this solution part of
  • Type – What kind of Solution is this
  • Tags – Add global tags you can lateron search for or add to other entities like Personas and Journeys

If you want to learn more on how to categorise properties, have a look at the repository guide.

Commenting on solutions

There are 2 ways to comment on solutions:

  1. Any comment you make on the solution canvas, the Solution owner gets notified. But you can of course @-mention people so they also get the message.


  2. If you are working on a journey and rather like to comment on the solution in context of a journey, you can add a comment to the card. Note that journey owners get notified, as well as the solution owner.

Mapping existing solutions

The most obvious way to use solutions is to note down new, potential solutions that might improve your journeys. However, you can also use TheyDo to map solutions that are under development or implemented already. Using the status indicator you can label your solutions accordingly. This can help you to link your backlog to the journeys where they have impact, helping you to connect your backlog to your customer experience.

Adding solutions to journeys

After adding a solution to a journey, it is represented as a card in a journey lane.

Solution Card

Once you have defined a solution, the solution card is the linking pin between journeys and journey steps.

Solution cards show a quick overview of:

  • Image – a quick thumbnail of the header
  • Title – the solution name
  • Type – in the example above ‘Event’ is the solution type
  • Rating – Average score from the rating filled in
  • Integration – Linked to Jira in this case
  • Status – All status is color coded and the ‘L’ refers to Live in this case
  • Owner – The avatar in the bottom right

You can add the solution to the steps in your customer journeys that the customer interacts with this solution.

For example, when the solution is a feature you want to link all steps when people use that feature. When it is an email for instance, it’s useful to know at which step of what journey this email is sent to a customer. Because solutions are defined once, unlike post-it’s on your whiteboard, you can start linking things together.

Using the solution repository

All solutions end up in the solution repository. They are like lego bricks, which can be connected to any journey step. That way you create an overview of how your products, services and content are linked to the customer journeys. Solutions can often be used across multiple journeys, as the example below demonstrates.

A solution such as ‘waiting time estimator app’ in an airport can be applicable to multiple journeys such as checking in, going through baggage checks, and waiting in an airport lounge.

The solution repository overview shows all the solutions that have been created across the whole organization. Because the number of solutions can grow quickly, solutions can be filtered according to the labels your teams give them. This helps you filter solutions based on:

  • Status – Current status (or synced from your pm tool)
  • Group – Specific groups in the organization
  • Type – solution type

To ensure your teams are off to a good start when labeling their solutions, it’s important to create a good labeling taxonomy up front.

Using the solution repository

There are several common situations in which the solution repository can help you.

  • Present solutions in presentations or creative workshops. The solution overview allows you to easily filter solutions, so you can easily present solutions related to specific journeys, domains, or teams.
  • Score and prioritize solutions. Using the solution matrix, you can quickly score and compare solutions in relation to each other, which helps you to determine which of them to pick up next. More on prioritizing can be read here.
  • Manage solution progress. The solution repository highlights the status and ownership associated with solutions, allowing you to easily track what teams are currently focussing on across the organisation, and identifying promising solutions that might not have been picked up by anyone yet.
  • Visualize a solution roadmap. If you have labeled solutions according to roadmap stages (such as Horizon 1, 2, and 3) you can also use the solution overview to filter and group solutions according to those roadmap steps to get a sense of when they might be picked up.
  • Clean up solutions. As you create more solutions across the organization, you might want to periodically review them to make sure they remain mutually exclusive, yet collectively exhaustive.

If you want to learn more on how to structure properties, have a look at the repository guide.

Prioritizing solutions

Solutions can be prioritized in order to help you decide which ones to pick up next. Using the Design Thinking methodology each solution has a 5-point scale for Desirability, Feasibility and Viability. For more on rating solutions, out our guide on the solution discovery workflow using solutions.

FAQ

Why map solutions in TheyDo, when I already have a ticketing tool like Jira or Azure Devops for my own backlog?

TheyDo’s solutions don’t aim to replace ticketing tools. They are rather meant to work in sync with them. As opposed to ticketing tools, solutions in TheyDo can be linked to the exact place in your customer experience where they have an impact. This gives product teams much more insight into the context of why they are building what they’re building. Furthermore, whereas ticketing tools often only capture already prioritized features and epics, solutions in TheyDo are meant as a global inventory of all possible ideas. Lastly, ticketing tools are often only accessible to product teams. TheyDo solutions are accessible to anyone in the organization, helping anyone to be inspired by solutions that other teams have come up with.

How can I add metrics and live data to my solution?

Not yet, but we are well underway bringing your favorite data tools for CX and transactional metrics to TheyDo. Currently the easy way to do this is have data in a dashboard and link the Solution in TheyDo with the URL in your dashboard to view the live data.

What is the best way to define types and groups?

The easiest way to do this is map the status types to the agile / project management tools teams are already familiar with. In the Solution repository guide, we’ll talk about this in more detail.

Can I integrate solutions with our product management tool?

Yes, TheyDo offers deep integration with Jira and DevOps. Are you using something else? Let our team know here.

Can I change the different properties like Type and Status?

Only admins can set and change the properties themselves. Editors in TheyDo can use and set these to Solutions, but cannot change the properties.



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