In the field of product management, HMW stands for "How Might We". It's a design thinking methodology used to transform problems into opportunities for innovation.
It is a way to frame questions that create possibilities, allowing for a wide range of solutions.
When faced with a design challenge, it's important to consider a variety of options early on rather than limiting yourself to a few viable options. In Design Thinking, this process is called diverging.
A HMW note is highly beneficial due to its portability, allowing team members to unite around a significant challenge. Simultaneously, it provides the appropriate degree of creative latitude when devising solutions.
To do so, there are a few elements that make an effective HMW that allows teams to accomplish the above goal:
- It starts with How Might We (commonly overlooked but it's essential to have a standardised language)
- It contains the intended action e.g. "How might we redesign the buying experience for..."
- Mentions the target audience e.g. "... Urban Pie Lovers"
- Contains the desired outcome from the consumers perspective e.g. "... so that they can take delight in eating our hot pies in their office". The desired outcome is either to make something more awesome or less awful.
It's worth mentioning that a note with too many loose ends, such as "HMW increase revenue," should be avoided (every business wants that).
On the other hand, if the language used in the note sounds solution-oriented "HMW make the button blue", you've made it too specific.
HMW statement examples
A HMW for Uber
- "How might we enhance the predictive algorithms of our Uber app for drivers so they can anticipate high-demand areas and times, enabling them to maximize their earnings and ensure availability for riders?"
A HMW for Bumble
- "How might we facilitate more engaging and meaningful initial conversations for female users on our Bumble app with their matches?"
A HMW for Salesforce
- "How might we simplify the process for account managers using our Salesforce platform to record meeting notes, reducing the burden of manual inputs?"
Hopefully, this provides you with the necessary information to know the difference between a good or bad HMW and turn you into an HMW note-taking superstar!
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