How Problem/Opportunity templates facilitate efficient and successful decisions on your Roadmap

Jan-Henrik Stocker
10 min readJul 1

👋🏼 😊 Hey, honored to have your attention! I try to make best use of your valuable time. Here’s what you’ll find in this article.

  1. Framing the problem: How wrongly prepared decisions and imbalanced roadmap contributions slow down value creation
  2. What we want to achieve by applying the problem/opportunity template to decide on our roadmap items
  3. The magic of decision gates and roadmap phases as main elements of our framework
  4. Our template for problems/opportunities to download or use in Miro
  5. Detailed descriptions of required deliverables for each gate and phase

Let’s go! 🚀

1) How wrongly prepared decisions and imbalanced roadmap contributions slow down value creation

💸 🧠 Overspending and underspending in decisions

When preparing a sufficiently educated decision you can destroy value from two simple sides: Underspending and overspending.

Underspending means that you don’t spend enough time and resources to identify and validate the problems and potential solutions. Thus, you are working on the wrong things and fail to stop unpromising projects.

Overspending means that you are probably taking things too scientifically. E.g., for some initiatives you don’t want to set up a complex technical tracking if the Business Intelligence resources are better spent elsewhere. Also, it might not be necessary run 6 weeks of user tests to validate a problem that has already been discovered by other market participants.

Given your company strategy, there is a right and wrong for how much you should be investing into an opportunity. However, stakeholders and product teams usually do not “invest” together, especially in the discovery phases.

Stakeholders usually push to underspend, as they don’t feel responsible to decide about the research efforts. They just want their “solution” to be live as quickly as possible. Instead, research teams strive to be seen as “client advocates” and rather push for…

Jan-Henrik Stocker

Lead Product Manager & Coach, Angel Investor, Customer Support Consultant, Mentor & Strategy Enthusiast