Goal: Identify the Most Important Artifacts Created by Your Product
Much like a child excitedly sharing their most prized possession at school during show-and-tell, customers are often equally excited of the results that they can produce with your product, and they’ll tell you all about it – if you let them. In the process, you’ll gain new insights into what really matters.
Ask your customers to be examples of artifacts created or modified by your product or service. Ask them to tell you why these artifacts are important, and when and how they’re used. For example, if your product is a software system to manage invoices, ask them to show you the invoices, reports, or spreadsheets that they’ve created through the use of your product.
Pay careful attention to anything that surprises you – artifacts you expected them to create or modify that they have ignored, artifacts that aren’t used, or artifacts used in unexpected ways. What do these tell you?
Why It Works
Countless studies have demonstrated something that great managers have known for a long time: most people want to do a good job. It doesn’t really matter if the person is a barber, a construction worker, a parent changing a diaper, an accountant, or a software developer. Each of them wants to demonstrate their special skill. Show and Tell works by giving your customers a chance to dip into the deeply felt human emotion to show you when and how they are using your product to do their very best. At the same time, they are telling you how they are doing the best they can, they will also be telling you how you can help them do it better.