Defining the problem and vision

We focus on solving the right problems, the right way. In other words, once we understand the problem, we are comfortable pivoting to different solutions, not to different markets. It’s critical that you deeply understand the problem you’re solving. Just as importantly, you need to bring everyone along with you. Your partners and teammates need to understand, and agree on, the problem you’re tackling.

When working with an external client, you should focus on helping them understand and articulate their vision. While you can undoubtedly come up with a great vision for the project all by yourself, it’s not sustainable—because you’re going to walk away from this project and leave it in your client’s hands. Our goal is to help our partners grow their internal practices, and teaching them how to set a strong vision is an important first step on that journey.

Whether you’re working with external clients, or on a TTS-owned product, once the product vision is set, you need to make sure that all of the right people are bought in. If you’re working with a client, this means collaborating with your partner(s) to find the influencers and decision-makers within their organization and win them over. For a TTS-owned product, there might not be a direct client in a traditional sense, but you still need to find your top stakeholders and sell them on your vision.

Creating alignment isn’t a one-time activity. Rather, you should be periodically reminding everyone of the vision and revisiting it as new information is learned over the course of the project. Documenting your vision and goals in a framing document, project brief, or roadmap gives your stakeholders (and your teammates) something tangible to sign off on. Documenting the vision helps maintain focus while also giving a reference point as the project progresses.

In addition to keeping everyone focused on the vision, you also need to show the progress that you’ve made towards that vision. KPIs, OKRs, and other measurement frameworks are good tools to do that. Including metrics in your weekly status mails is an effective way to keep stakeholders updated about the team’s progress.