How I Can Use 2020 Vision

Processing the Results

Processing the results of the 20/20 Vision game is often quite straightforward. You simply transcribe the final prioritized list, keeping track of significant choices relative to design continuums. The results are then used to inform your product road map, with higher priority features being delivered more quickly.

After you've defined your market-facing priorities, you need to take this list to your development/engineering team and ask them to create a dependency list. You might find that, although your customer ranked a given feature low on their list of features, your technical team has identified it as an essential prerequisite to one or more of the more highly ranked features. As a result, you will find that the final list of features doesn't necessarily match the ranking provided by your customers.

There are other considerations that you should include when preparing the final set of feature priorities. Consider the old adage that goes something like this: "If you try to please everyone, you'll end up pleasing no one." It is true. Keep in mind that each stakeholder affected by the product is likely to have a different ranking of features and that understanding these rankings is critical to producing an effective result. One technique that I find helpful in doing this is to create a spreadsheet that assigns weightings to features based on stakeholder prioritization and then computes a weighted sum across stakeholders. The advantage of this approach is that it allows you to include an arbitrary number of stakeholders, from customers (by direct customer or by market segment) to service, sales and support, distribution channels, strategic partners, and so forth.

Multidimensional Feature Prioritization

20/20 Vision provides essential insights into customer priorities, but it isn't the only information that product managers should use to make feature prioritization choices. Product features can be analyzed according to many different attributes of varying degree of importance. Arguably the most important sets of attributes not captured by this game are the positive and negative economic attributes associated with each feature.

Positive economic attributes include such things as increased revenue, retained customers, brand value, product line synergies, and so forth. Negative attributes include such things as development, distribution, marketing and sales costs, development risk, and opportunity costs. Knowing these is crucial to making sustainable profitable products.

Another important set of attributes is how customer segments react to the presence or absence of features and "how much" of a feature influences their behavior. Kano analysis, which classifies features in four dimensions, can provide further insights into customer desires. The four key dimensions of a Kano analysis are

  1. "Surprise and Delight" features. These really make your product stand out from the others. Customers will pay a premium for these features.

  2. "More is Better" features. Customers will pay more to get more.

  3. "Required" features. You can't sell the product without these features.

  4. "Dissatisfiers." Features that customers don't like and avoid about your product. It is unlikely that these features will be present in a 20/20 Vision game.

Like so many other aspects of product management, feature prioritization is a mixture of science and art. Sorting features according to various attributes certainly helps, but spreadsheets alone won't help you make the right decisions.

Suppose, for example, that you're ranking features for a blender. You've played the 20/20 Vision game with four market segments, listed in order of importance: Home Bakers, Parents Who Don't Cook Much, Elementary School Teachers, and Professional Chefs. Your primary market segment is the home market, which by market size is roughly twice as large as the other markets. As a result, you weight the Home Baker so that their votes are the most influential in the process. (See Figure 2.22.)

Figure 2.22. 20/20 Vision Market Feedback

Putting the results into this kind of spreadsheet can be quite enlightening. In this simple example, we can see that while the Home Baker thinks that the Super Quiet Motor is the third most important potential feature, the other market segments consider it relatively unimportant. The weighted ranking results in this feature being the least important (lower numbers are better in the ranking). As the product manager, you can certainly still put the Super Quiet Motor higher than last place, but you'll be doing this with the knowledge that most of your market considers this to be a relatively unimportant feature. This may be the best choice, based on factors not shown in this small sample (see the sidebar on ranking features). As you can guess, playing around with weightings can produce different results, and the spreadsheet format typically gives you an easy way to explore these options.

A final processing step concerns the handling of negotiations about the relative priority of each feature. It is useful to examine observer cards about which customers negotiated most passionately about the relative ranking of a given feature, as this gives insight into individual customer and customer segment preferences.

Innovation Games(c) Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play
Innovation Games: Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play
ISBN: 0321437292
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 144
Authors: Luke Hohmann © 2008-2017.
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