CIRCLES Method of Problem Solving of any product: a Brief Intro

As a product manager, you are always on your heels to improve your product and satisfy your customer needs. But this is much easier said than done. Customer needs will never end, and trying to satisfy every need can be a difficult task. Only upgrading or adding new features to your product won’t do much good.

Because adding any new features to your product requires a lot of investment and it is a risk. Therefore, for a product manager, it is necessary to determine if the upgraded product will give back a healthy ROI.

This problem is solved by Matthew Knoot, a reputed product manager. He strictly follows the CIRCLES method of problem-solving related to product and its development. In this post, we will explain in brief the actual method of CIRCLES problem-solving solution.

What is CIRCLES Method of Problem Solving?

CIRCLES Method of Problem Solving as pointed out by Matthew Knoot, is the method of solving all the queries related to product and its development.

For a product manager, he has to answer one simple and yet a super complex question “What product to built and why?”

During such a scenario, he can use to CIRCLES problem-solving method.

C – Comprehend

I – Identify

R – Reporting

C – Cut via prioritization

L – Listing of solutions

E – Evaluate

S – Summarise


The first thing which you need to comprehend and ask is what is the product, who are your target customers, and how will it fulfill their problems.


 Then you need to identify which sect of customers will use the product.


After identifying the customer, make a report the exact needs of the customer.

Cut via prioritization

After identifying the need, now as a product manager, you need to be sure of ROI the new product will generate. For this, you need to use the RICE Prioritization Method. The formula is (Reach x Impact x Confidence) / Effort, where reach stands out to the size of the market, Impact is the percentage of impact you think the product will make, Confidence is the percentage of confidence you have in the Reach and Impact, and lastly Effort is the manpower and cost put into making the effort.

Listing of solutions

After getting a rough ROI idea, now you need to list the solutions to create the new product.


Now evaluate all the factors which include cost, time, benefits, etc.


Once you are clear about the new or upgraded product, you can tell advice your management or investors which product to go for and whether it would be profitable or not.

If you want to know more about how to solve problems related to products, you can contact Matthew Knoot today.

Leave a Reply