The Opportunity Solution Tree (OST) is a tool innovation consultants use to identify and explore potential opportunities for innovation in a given industry or market. The tree provides a visual representation of the opportunities available and their potential solutions, allowing consultants to identify the most promising areas for development.
At its core, the OST is a structured framework that enables consultants to systematically identify, evaluate, and prioritize opportunities. It provides a clear roadmap for innovation by breaking down complex problems into smaller, more manageable parts. The tree is typically divided into two main branches: the opportunity branch and the solution branch.
The opportunity branch of the OST focuses on identifying potential opportunities for innovation. This can include new products, services, or business models that could meet unmet needs or solve existing problems. Consultants will typically use a range of research methods, including market research, customer interviews, and data analytics, to identify these opportunities.
Once potential opportunities have been identified, the solution branch of the tree comes into play. This branch focuses on identifying potential solutions to the identified opportunities. To generate potential solutions, consultants will use various ideation techniques, including brainstorming, mind mapping, and rapid prototyping.
The OST is an iterative process, meaning that as consultants identify potential opportunities and solutions, they will continually refine and re-evaluate their approach. This helps ensure that the final solution is viable and desirable, meeting both customer needs and business objectives.
One of the key benefits of the OST is that it enables consultants to identify and evaluate a range of potential opportunities and solutions. This can help minimize the risk of pursuing the wrong opportunity or solution, ensuring that resources focus on the most promising areas.