Notes: Working backwards, PRFAQs

Looking into Amazon's "Working backwards" methodology, around refining ideas for products and services. Main source is this re:Invent talk from 2020

Amazon works backwards from the customer experience they want to deliver. They state the customer is at the centre of everything they do.

Start with these questions before drafting the document. Used to refine thinking. These answers will weave throughout the PRFAQ document.

  1. Who is your customer?
  2. What is the customers problem?
  3. What is the most important customer benefit?
  4. How do you know what your customer needs / wants?
  5. What does the experience look/feel like?

What the document contains

Part 1: A PR (press release), around a single A4 page (or word equivalant). Jump to the future to when the product is released.

  1. Headline, date and summary
  2. Customer problem
  3. Proposed solution
  4. Leader quotation (how would the customer describe the service to others?)
  5. Customer experience
  6. Customer testimonial
  7. Call to action

Part 2: FAQ (frequently asked questions), potentially many pages long

Examples of customer FAQs section

  1. How is this different from what PRODUCT/SERVICE offers me today?
  2. Can I get a refund if i'm dissatisfied?
  3. Are there things I need to manage or keep track of?
  4. How much does this cost?

Examples of internal FAQs section

  1. What decisions and guidance do we need today?
  2. What customer feedback have we collected so far?
  3. What will customers be most disappointed in?
  4. What other options did we consider and reject?
  5. What are our Minimum Lovable Product (MLP) features?
  6. What are our hotly debated topics?
  7. Are we stepping through an "one-way doors"? e.g Things that can't be reversed.
  8. Who is the single-threaded leader? I assume this means the ultimate decision maker?

Part 3: Visuals

  1. Show the customer experience.
  2. Match fidelity of visuals to maturity of your idea, if idea is rough, the visual should also be rough.
  3. Don't be afraid to be provocative.

First draft is never close to perfect, just a means to start a convo, keep iterating on it to provide clarity for everyone involved.