How might we...

How might we statement

What is a How Might We... question?

This workshop tactic transforms problems and observations into solvable questions.

A problem on its own can seem daunting. Rephrasing problems as questions is a powerful way to switch the mind from panic mode to solution mode.

‘How Might We…’ questions are best used after Theme Sorting problems or challenges from tactics like Sailboat, Five Whys, Journey Map or Premortem.

How to use How Might We... questions in your workshop

1. Gather information about the problem you are solving.

This can be in the form of interviewing an expert on the problem, or presenting research findings to the group.

2. Inform the group that as the interview or research playback happens, they should write down any problems they hear as How Might We... questions on sticky notes.

3. Explain how to write a How Might We... question: rephrase a problem you hear as a question, so that it asks for a solution. For example:

Problem: customers aren’t contacting us when they have an issue with our product.

Question: How might we get customers to contact us when they have an issue with our product?

Tip: ask yourself if your question allows for a variety of solutions. If it doesn’t, broaden it.

4. Invite the group to stick all of their notes on a wall, and then Theme Sort to find common themes.

5. Prioritise the questions with Priority Map.

6. Use the Idea Eight or Reverse Brainstorm tactic to generate ideas for solving your problems.

Origin: Dr. Sydney J. Parnes, 1967

Not sure if this is the right approach for your team at the moment? Try a different framing tactic. Or, if you feel confident in how you articulate the challenges you face, move on to an idea generation workshop to help your team come up with foolproof solutions.

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How might we... is one of 54 workshop recipe cards inside the Workshop Tactics card deck.

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