Find Your Problem Solution Fit to Deliver Customer Value

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Angie Doyle asks you to explore the customer segment before working on your value proposition, and deliver the product by finding your problem solution fit.

Angie Doyle is an Agile Coach, Trainer and Consultant at IQ Business, with 20 years’ experience in the Financial Services industry, and has been a practicing business analyst for the past 14 years prior to becoming a consultant.

Angie worked in the business process outsourcing industry where she pursued ways to make businesses more effective, more efficient and more capable of adapting to an ever-changing environment. So when she was introduced to Agile a few years later, it was a perfect fit! She now devotes her time to anything related to Agile transformation with a particular focus on the role of the Agile Product Owner and Agile Business Analyst.

Congratulations on your recent talk at the Business Analysis Summit Southern Africa, it was well received by many. For those who weren’t fortunate to attend, could you give us a synopsis of what your presentation was about?

My talk was about the Value Proposition Canvas, which is a tool that prevents you from “falling in love” with your first idea. The canvas helps you to

… explore your customer segment, by understanding customer pains, customer gains and customer jobs to be done, before you start working on your value proposition.

Your value proposition is made up products and services, gain creators and pain relievers – but these only hold value when viewed against your customer segment. You have found your problem-solution fit when you have some initial evidence that your customers actually care about your product.

The topic is clearly an area that you are personally passionate about. Why do you feel this subject is relevant and important for the business analysis profession?

Too often I hear business analyst’s say things like “But that is what Marketing does”, or “I only get involved after the business case” or “I only work with requirements, I don’t get involved in strategy”. According to the latest version of the BABOK,

… business analysts are people that enable change in an enterprise by delivering valuable solutions, and, as business analyst’s, we need to demonstrate that we are capable of acting as problem solvers at a strategic level.

After all, it doesn’t matter how well we design solutions if we are perfectly executing the wrong strategy!

Having shared your ideas with the business analysis community. What key points would you like people to take-away, reflect and act upon?

Don’t start with the “perfect” solution and work your way back to find the problem – that is a very expensive approach to product development. Rather

… start with truly understanding the customer you are building for, work out what will make them want to buy and use your product and focus on getting that right.

Do the necessary work before you even start building a product to ensure that you are actually delivering the right solution – not just the one you want to deliver.

Business analysis summit spoiled in terms of the learning and networking opportunities. What was your greatest personal insight taken from the business analysis conference?

I was fortunate to be based at the Agile Open Jam (AOJ) for most of the conference, so I got the opportunity to engage with many people either during the breaks or during the AOJ sessions. I would say that my greatest insight coming from these sessions was that we,

… as business analyst’s, need to change our thoughts to match our actions.

Business Analysis is greatly misunderstood in the solution delivery field. If we do not truly believe that we can make a difference, then no one else will either!

Having been a regular speaker at local business analysis events. What words of encouragement do you have for people who may be considering presenting in future?

About 4 years ago, I did my first presentation at BA Summit in Cape Town. I didn’t love it. In fact, I vowed never to do one again. But another presenter at that same conference had different ideas. He was very supportive and gave me some very helpful feedback after the conference. He even convinced me to do another presentation with him in Johannesburg a few months later, and another presentation in Cape Town a few months after that. After that, I was hooked!

My advice would be to find an awesome mentor who can walk the journey with you …

– I was lucky enough to have Mohamed Bray as mine (opening keynote speaker for this year’s conference).

Deliver Customer Value By Finding Your Problem Solution Fit with Angie Doyle

Download Angie Doyle‘s slide-deck from BA Summit SA 2016 to learn more about Finding Your Problem Solution Fit. Share your user stories of finding the problem solution fit with @Doyle_Angie and @Newbert over on Twitter.

About Joe Newbert

Joe is a consultant, a writer, a speaker and above all a teacher, who spends most of his time at the Business Change Academy helping people to grow their skills, bring meaningful change and see their career soar.

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