Collaborative Product Roadmapping with Apple Trees

We hold long (long) meetings to find the root causes of a problem and a solution for it, to define a complex strategy, to create a marketing plan and to define a product road map.  Collaborative Games can turn these meetings more productive and even fun, too.

Take, for example, Product Roadmapping.

What a Great Discovery

A couple of weeks ago I attended an EL SIG monthly meeting where Luke Hohmann, Founder and CEO of Innovation Games. He has developed a method for obtaining information from customers and prioritizing their ideas. The problem that he presented was “How to select speakers and topics for the following sessions?” The technique that we used in the conference room brought up a lot of valuable ideas that were popping up like fireworks on a 4th of July.  People were cooperating and having fun. It was a game!

How to Play

Five simple steps:

  1. Define the problem (e.g., you have two months to deliver a new version of your product, what features should you select?)
  2. Invite your customers to participate in the process of prioritization. Choose customers that you know are driving your success.
  3. Once the action will take place and the meeting is about to start, draw a tree on a big paper pad.
  4. Cut out some fruit silhouettes on paper and ask your customers to write on each of them the features they would like to have. If you want to have more control, give them virtual money and sell the features to them.
  5. Ask them to place in the tree the fruit silhouettes that they wrote on. You will be surprised with the results. Don’t forget to take a picture of the tree!

You can also add different dimensions to the tree, according to your specific needs.  For example, you can add an implementation timeframe or divide the three in sections or categories.

How Do I Start?

Easy? Fun? It is! If you want to learn more go to www.innovationgames.com and you can collaborate and play it online.

How many hours do we spend in a room arguing a point and, sometimes, creating friction among team members only to find out that our customers did not like the final results. Remember the customer is always right.

After my experience with this presentation I am sure that Collaborative Games can have a positive impact in your organization.

I am also sure that it can help make your next meeting more fun, too.

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