Product Innovation & Vision
Coming up with the next “big idea” usually doesn’t happen in a bubble. It’s the result of team collaboration, storytelling and dreaming. Once the idea has been hatched, the clear, concise product vision must follow.
Internal Innovation Sessions
Innovation sessions are a special form of brainstorming session. Sessions can be scheduled for a few hours to a full day depending on the goals of the session. In general, sessions are more productive with a good cross section of teams represented. Session activities are usually conducted in small groups followed by large group discussion. We’ve found that keeping sessions fun and engaging by playing well-crafted games yields the largest number of solid ideas.
Customer Innovation Sessions
Innovation sessions can also be conducted with customers in a focus group-like setting. Many of the same exercises that are appropriate for in-house teams can also be used with customers. While in-house teams might generate more pragmatic ideas, customers will generate wildly creative ideas which just might result in your next big product feature.
Participatory Design is a process that allows for collaboration on the design by stakeholders such as product team members or customers. Best used in small group settings, participants are armed with post-it notes, markers, white boards and directed or open-ended instructions. Designs might be created together as a small group, in pairs or individually followed by group discussion and collaboration. This technique allows for direct input into the design by subject matter experts resulting in an innately intuitive design.
Product Vision Creation
A clear product vision shared by the product team is the cornerstone of a solid product design. To begin, a product vision is rough and may only describe product users and what core tasks they will perform with the product. As user and market research is conducted and understanding of the users and their tasks and needs deepens, the product vision will become sharper. When the vision is clear, it must be communicated to the product team who will need to work together to bring it to life.