Opportunity Solution Tree

Posted by Douglas Drumond Kayama on January 13, 2022 · 2 mins read

Have you ever tried to brainstorm ideas to find what to work on next? And you ended up with too many ideas that you had to aggressively trim down or, worse, you solved the wrong problem? Opportunity Solution Tree may help you avoid that.

Opportunity Solution Tree (let’s shorten it to OST) is a visual way to represent how the solutions connect to the desired outcome in a way that helps you focus on solving the right problem.

You can build an OST in 4 steps:

  1. Identify the outcome, e.g., a metric you want to improve. Example: improve engagement on Twitter.

  2. Find opportunities related to your desired outcome. Example: build relationships with other creators.

  3. Brainstorm the solutions with one condition: the solutions should always be linked to one of the opportunities from the previous step. Example: comment on other people’s tweets. An example of what not to do: start another account in another social network.

  4. Define experiments to validate your hypothesis. Example: engage with at least 3 other creators per day for two weeks and compare how received likes, retweets and followers changed.

Notice that in step 2 you may find more than one opportunity, thus in step 3 you create solutions for several opportunities, increase the options to multi-track, i.e., act on more than one opportunity at a time. You don’t fixate on one opportunity. However, you’re always connected to your goal.

Reframing the ideation process using the OST framework allow you to find solutions without going off course or creating too much noise. Give it a try.

Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash