The 'Who' or 'For Whom' is the starting point for any product in the making. Hence, it's THE most important thing for the product manager to know from the beginning. who are your 'customers' and who are your 'users' should be known from day one. Persona mapping , Empathy mapping etc. will precede next.
After you have decided the 'Who' its time to think the 'Why'. Why do you want to serve the 'Who' that you have chosen?, What's your goal?, What's your vision?, What problems are you wanting to solve for them? . After you have brainstormed this , the end result will be your product vision and mission statement.
Both of the above essentially depicts the 'EMPATHIZE' of your Design Thinking process.
The Expected Timeframe - 1 to 1.5 Months
Once you know whom are you serving and why are you serving them, the 'Next' step is to brainstorm on 'What' are you going to provide them as your service. Deciding and formulating this can be a very long process since you need to think both strategically and tactically on all fronts of your service/business/product. A Value proposition canvas is a great tool to analyze and define your 'What'.
Now, it's time to analyze and see 'Where' do you want to launch your product first. Demographic Analysis is an important part of the process since you won't be able to rollout global when you start. Hence, choosing a region where to launch is to be decided at this step. Market analysis and intelligence would be a great input to this task. Knowing your Total Market, Total Available Market and Total Addressable Market is the key.
The above both essentially depicts the 'DEFINE & IDEATE' of your Design Thinking process.
The Expected Timeframe - 1.5 to 2 Months
At this point in time your status should be 'ready to go' . You have done a fabulous job now empathizing and defining with some ideation.. Once you have decided the 'What' & 'Where', ' Which' feature(s) to release 'first' is what matters the most. MVP is the widely used phrase for this. But I term that as an MVP or MUP (Minimum Usable Product). Three things: Desirability, Feasibility And Viability are needed in order to carve out your MVP product and then other releases.
And last but not at all the least, choosing the correct 'timing' is the key to any product launch to be successful. Though many of the products, which have a great value proposition, have failed in the past due to improper timing of launch. Hence, choosing the right time is really the key. So 'When' is your last milestone to hit the nail on the head. And you are ready for a roller coaster ride.
The above both essentially depicts the 'TEST & IMPLEMENT' of your Design Thinking process.
The Expected Timeframe - 2 to 3 Months