A properly framed How Might We doesn’t suggest a particular solution, but gives you the perfect frame for innovative thinking. It is neither too broad nor too narrow. The How Might We format works best when you have a specific goal in mind. For example, “How might we solve the problem of X?” Or, “How might our customers benefit from Y?”. It's important to find the core problem before asking an HMW.
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How Might We questions are valuable because they force you to consider a problem from different angles. They also give you a way to think about a problem that will lead to more solutions than if you just asked what should be done.
The How Might We Method is a creative technique that helps you think about problems differently. You can use it to generate ideas for new products, services, or initiatives.
Start with a clear statement of the problem. Your first sentence should describe the situation in which you want to find a solution. If you're trying to figure out how to improve customer service, you could begin by saying something like, “We have been looking into the value of good customer service.”
A team should be careful about generating HMWs that are too broad or general. These questions can lead to ideas that don't address root problems and insights uncovered or known before asking the question.
A good HMW question should ask about a specific problem or challenge faced by a person, group or company.
1. What problem does this question seek to solve?
2. Who is the target audience?
3. Why would they care?
4. What is the benefit of solving this problem?
5. What is the value proposition?
6. What are the barriers to adoption?
7. What are the benefits of adopting this solution?
8. What are the risks of adopting this solution?"