Day 69 — (Planning out) the solution to this week’s experiment
Beginning this week, I had hoped to spend today developing solutions for adolescent behavioral health. But as I uncovered this week, there are a lot of challenges worth solving. So rather than forcing a bad solution to a poorly defined problem, I spent a few hours today creating a plan for how I’ll go about designing and testing potential solutions.
One tool I’ve used and really like for prototyping and testing ideas is the Google Ventures Sprint. It has a very prescriptive 5-day process from turning questions and hypotheses into a validated prototype — plus it’s just fun!
So starting Monday, I plan to do just that.
The Challenge Map
Next week’s sprint starts with a map of the challenge. Based on this week’s work, here is the high-level flow for accessing mental health services for kids and adolescents:
There are several areas where I think Invincible could potentially provide value, including:
- Screening: There are a lot of screening tools available. But actually delivering screening is a major challenge: clinicians and families are busy, and mental health doesn’t just happen in 4 month intervals alongside scheduled doctor’s visits. How might we better detect mental health challenges in adolescents (before problems arise)?
- Referral: Getting a referral to a mental health specialist can be a challenge, especially when factoring in costs, reimbursement, and the shortage of mental health specialists. How might we enable adolescents to more easily connect to mental health services?
- Care: Only 50% of kids diagnosed with a mental health disorder actually receive mental health support. This has to change. How might we deliver therapist-recommended activities to adolescents that are engaging and effective?
- Monitoring: As care is delivered, an ongoing communication challenge is created between adolescents, care providers, and families. How might we streamline feedback and communication between the care team?
Outline for Next Week
Here is the rough outline I’ll be following:
Monday — Start at the End
- Define sprint questions
- Define long-term goal
- Pick a target from the Challenge Map
- Recruit participants (goal of 5)
- Write the Interview Guide
Deliverables: Understanding of the problem and selection of a target
Tuesday — Solution Sketch
- Research existing solutions.
- Review of existing ideas to remix and improve.
- Sketch, following a four-step process that emphasizes critical thinking over artistry.
Deliverable: Stack of solutions
Wednesday — Storyboard
- Critique each solution, and decide which ones have the best chance of achieving your long-term goal.
- Take the winning scenes from your sketches and weave them into a storyboard: a step-by-step plan for your prototype.
Thursday — Prototype
- Turn storyboard into a prototype
- Confirm Friday’s interview schedule
- Clean up interview script
- Review the prototype
Friday — Test
- Interview customers and learn by watching them react to your prototype
Deliverable: Interview Notes, Understanding of current vs. future state