The first diamond is about the team defining the customer problem in the Discover Phase, exploring multiple options and aligning on a solution concept with strong rationale. In other words, the team has confidence that they are building the right thing. In the Discover phase, we might observe customers or look at data to uncover problems to solve. During the Define phase, we align on the customer problem, potential conceptual solutions, and how we're going to measure success. Companies that consistently create good and great experiences have cross-functional teams working together to discover the problem and that core team stays together throughout the cycle.
The second diamond includes Detailed Design and Deliver, where the teams play with more granular options and eventually create a detailed solution – to build it right. In this phase, the focus is on making sure we are building everything from the experience to the code well. Delivery is the hard work of making this all real upon Release.
One challenge we face is balancing release dates with great experiences. While there are times that dates take priority, in most cases, it is far better for the company and the customers to take an extra few weeks (or months) to solve the problem well. When decisions are made to prioritize date, we are often not taking into account the cumulative impact over time on our customers – and our bottom line. It adds up quickly, particularly when many teams end up leaning toward date over great.
Sometimes our tendency is to skip the first Discover-Define diamond or to prioritize deadlines over great customer experiences. But when we don't define and align on the problem and measures for success as a cross-functional team, we may all be moving in different directions – and are less likely to be effective. That's where consistent CX metrics and a focus on the true customer problem come into play. Working as one Product, Technology and Design team powered by Data, we can create more consistent customer experiences, together.