Thank You Letter Template


Sample Agenda for an Innovation Game

Pam Oliver is the product manager for Blendz, a fictitious manufacturer of commercial food and drink blenders. Here is a sample document that captures the work Pam and her internal team put together for a one-day Customer Advisory Council meeting. The templates are invaluable for making certain that key decisions are written down and that everyone on your internal team understands their role in the process. You can customize this sample agenda to fit your needs:

Purpose

The purpose of this document is to record the agenda for the March 13 Blendz Customer Advisory Council meeting and capture key decisions regarding this event.

Background and Logistics

The spring session of the twice-yearly meeting of the Blendz Customer Advisory Council will be held March 13 in Detroit, MI. As of January 9, 18 customers have confirmed. We expect no more than 24 customers. Although Blendz corporate headquarters is located in Topeka, KS, a large number of our customers are located within a single plane flight of Detroit, MI.

Key Goals

The key goals for this Customer Advisory Council Meeting are as follows:

  • Provide an opportunity for Blendz customers to share how they use various Blendz product features.

  • Provide Blendz with opportunities for product and service innovation by uncovering unmet market needs.

  • Provide Blendz with information that will inform near- and long-term product development road maps.

  • Foster a creative sense of shared development and discovery.

To accomplish these goals, Blendz has elected to play the Product Box and the Buy a Feature Innovation Games with members of the Blendz Customer Advisory Council. We will start with the Product Box game so that participants are more likely to express their own ideas about what is important about their Blendz blender, because they will not yet have seen our ideas about potential new features. To provide extra motivation, we will allow council members to vote on the best overall product box. The winner will receive a $50 coupon.

Following this, we will play the Buy a Feature game. Pam Oliver prepared a sample list of features and their suggested prices and proposed the amount of money that will be given to each participant (see "Key Remaining Action Items"). Some participants will receive more money than others based on their perceived importance to the company. If more than one participant is present from the same company, the amount of money will be distributed equally among company participants, and they will be put into the same group. Because we expect to have three groups of customers engaged in each exercise, we require one Buy a Feature leader for each group. Pam Oliver, Stephan Zunck, and Robert Derby (see Table 3.1) will manage the selling of features for each product group.

Table 3.1. Blendz Team

Role

Description

Planner

Pam Oliver, Product Manager

Organizer

Franklin Smith, Assistant to the VP of the Fast-Food Sales Division

Greeter

Pam Oliver

Facilitator

Raj Subramanian, Director of Customer Service

Group leaders for Buy a Feature:

  • Pam Oliver

  • Stephan Zunck, Product Manager

  • Robert Derby, Marketing Director

Helper

Franklin Smith

Observer(s)

Timothy Melna, Design and Packaging Services

Sarah Johnston, Materials Engineer

Dan Allstead, Retail Channel Manager

Randy Weaver, VP, Sales

Photographer

Clifford Mark, eCommerce website developer


Key Remaining Action Items

The following action items must be handled before the event:

  1. (Owner: Franklin) Finalize event location, sign contracts, and prepare for the event.

  2. (Owner: Pam) Finalize list of features, feature prices, and amount of money given to participants.

  3. (Owner: Franklin) Acquire materials for the Product Box game.

Room Layout and Customer Organization

We need to carefully plan for this meeting because it will contain a large number of people. We will need a room that can support round tables (no more than eight people per table) or square tables that can be configured as shown in Figure 3.1. The room will need to have additional tables for Blendz employees. We will need one additional table for storing supplies and for the product box gallery.

Figure 3.1. Setting Up the Room


Customers will be organized into three tables with at least six and no more than eight customers per table. Figure 3.1 shows a representative room layout for a Product Box exercise conducted with two groups of customers, with six to eight customers in each group. Note that

  • Tables are covered in easel paper to encourage doodling/creativity.

  • Product boxes and props are placed in the front of the room to foster a sense of discovery and creativity.

  • Tables are organized so that participants work in rather close proximity, facing each other.

  • There is a small stand in the front of the room to hold a projector should one be needed.

  • The room must be big enough to support 40 to 60 people.[1]

    [1] Keep in mind that you need a room roughly twice as large as the number of total participants, customers, and members of your team. You want to create a relaxed environment, with enough room to rearrange tables if needed during the course of the event.

Detailed Schedule

March 12 Afternoon

Blendz Customer Advisor Council arrives. Dinner event at the hotel hosted by Pam.

Hotel must grant unfettered access to the meeting room starting at 6 p.m. to allow for setup.

March 13

7:30AM

All

Participants invited to room for continental breakfast, coffee.

Participants are guided to appropriate seating locations.

8:00AM

Pam

Welcome and brief opening remarks.

8:15AM

Raj

Product Box exercise described.

8:30AM

Raj

Product Box exercise initiated.


Note

It helps to play upbeat music while people create their product boxes, as such music contributes to the overall "fun" atmosphere you're trying to create.


9:30AM

Break


Note

You want to schedule a few breaks and offer them to customers. Don't force them to take a break, however. If your customers want to continue creating their product boxes, let them. To help signify a break, consider changing the music or playing it more loudly.


9:45AM

Raj

Product box sales presentations. Raj will select the initial presenter from a hat; each presenter will pick the next presenter from the hat until all have had a chance to sell their box.

10:45AM

 

Buffer


Note

Your agendas should always have plenty of buffer time!


11:00AM

Franklin

Carefully gather product boxes and put them in the back of the room to create a product box gallery.

11:30AM

 

Working Lunch


Note

When you're playing a game you should always plan on using the lunch session to clean up the results of the previous game and prepare for the next. 60 minutes is usually good for a light working lunch, 90 minutes for a more elaborate lunch.


12:30PM

 

Product box voting and Award Ceremony.

1:00PM

Raj

Buy a Feature exercise described.

1:15PM

Team

Buy a Feature engaged.

2:15PM

 

Buffer

2:30PM

 

Break

3:00PM

Pam

Closing remarks, gathering initial feedback from customers.

5:00PM

 

Session ends

6:30PM

 

Shared event for those who are staying the night.


March 14

7:30AM

Team

Breakfast/review meeting of product boxes and key insights gained from the previous day. We will do this by posting notes generated by observers along with key slogans from product boxes on a wall, looking for similarities and patterns. We will also review the specific features purchased by each customer team.

11:00AM

Team

Break for airport. Flights after 12:00 noon are okay.




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

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