Stage 1: Understand Problem to Grasp Desirability

The first stage is the most important stage of any endeavour. It is the crux of your endeavour. This stage will help you have a clear vision as to WHY your idea is important and WHO the primary beneficiary of your solution is. Answers to questions raised in this stage help in setting the vision and rationale behind your quest. Unless you have a clear idea of who the stakeholders are for whom you are solving a problem and what those problems are, it is impossible to envision a solution that would benefit the stakeholders.
By following the subsequent steps, you will develop a solid understanding of why the problem is worth solving. That is the “desirability” of solving the problem for the user.

Here are the most important steps of this Stage:

Step 1: Stakeholders

The first step is to have a clear understanding of the stakeholders involved around your problem statement. Stakeholders are all the persons who would be the direct beneficiaries of your solution or would be directly or indirectly affected by your idea. Think about the people who have a problem that you are solving, or those who would be paying for the solution or who will be directly or indirectly impacted by the problem you have identified or the solution that you would propose. All those are stakeholders for your idea. Using the “Stakeholders Map”, identify all the core, direct and indirect stakeholders for your idea.
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Step 2: User Research

Many entrepreneurs jump into solving the problems from day one without adequately understanding the needs of the primary beneficiary of the imagined solution, the context in which the user operates, the wider context, including competitive options, behavioural trends, technology trends, industry trends and other relevant aspects.
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Step 3: Persona

Persona is a fictitious representation of the main user who would be using your product or service. Bring the insights from user research to life and build a fictitious persona for each of your core users.
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Step 4: Current Journey

To understand the user’s perspective and be in his/her shoes, build the customer journey in the context of your idea. The goal is to have a holistic and comprehensive understanding of the user’s context and build empathy with the user. Depending on the situation, you may sketch multiple customer journeys for each persona.
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Step 5: User’s Perspective

The user’s point of view is a critical step in having a solid understanding of the problem you are trying to solve. The point of view is deeper than a statement summarizing the needs. It is full of insights that can only be extracted if you have really built empathy for the user. This is the opportunity to capture those nuggets of insights which form the basis of your idea.
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