While there’s no question that modern work practices have solved much of the quality and process issues that plagued organizations in the past, there are still hard problems to be solved and one of the largest is prioritization. It’s not enough to know what features your customers want; you need to know which features are essential and which ones can be tabled until the next phase. However, many of the methods for prioritization — even after the advent of agile — leave much to be desired. Backlog prioritization by spreadsheet, anyone? Innovation Games like Buy a Feature and 20/20 Vision take the drudgery out prioritization and ensure that your team is focusing on the right features at the right time.
Prioritize in Action
Prioritizing market needs
Emerson Climate Technologies used 20/20 Vision at its 2006 Technology Advisory Council to better understand market needs relative to all aspects of the Intelligent Store, a broad and comprehensive architecture that combines unique equipment, software, and services to solve food safety, energy and facilities management needs.
Building Consensus through Prioritization
In January 2011 and again in 2012, the Mayor’s office of San Jose, CA, used a customized version of Buy A Feature to obtain relevant and actionable feedback on proposed budget cuts from more than 200 community leaders and citizens. The game’s design allowed stakeholders with varying priorities to reach consensus on painful, but necessary issues. Read more about the games here.
Prioritization for Strategic Sales
Ticketmaster used Buy A Feature in an internal sales meeting to prioritize the features that the sales team felt would help them accomplish their objectives. You can read more about how Buy A Feature is used to manage and prioritize work in complex sales organizations here.
Play to Prioritize
Buy A Feature
Our virtual market game Buy a Feature Online takes advantage of the psychology of gameplay to engage your customers and stakeholders as a group to prioritize their desires, no matter where in the world they are. The players are assigned limited funds–not enough to buy each and every feature they want and must negotiate with each other to purchase the features they truly want. Our online game platform tracks each bid, chat, negotiation and purchase, giving you a true understanding of not only what your customers desire, but the order of their preference.
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Play 20/20 Vision to understand priorities. Effective product teams not only understand which set of features must be present to justify a release, they have taken the time to carefully enumerate the ranking of each. They know which is “number 1”, which is “number 2”, and, which set of stakeholders care the most about number one, which cares the most about number two, and so on. They also know that different market segments may not agree among these rankings, so they seek to understand the differences among the market segments. The most effective product teams take this even further and can demonstrate how their prioritization supports larger business priorities (and when the business priorities aren’t clear, these teams clarify them!).
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