Organizing and Using Innovation Games
There are two ways to organize Innovation Games. The first is based on the kind of understanding you seek. The second is based on the context in which you are going to apply the game.
Organizing Innovation Games
Table 1.2 organizes the games by your goals for customer understanding. Note that some games appear more than once because these games are useful in more than one context.
Four Ways to Use Innovation Games
This book details four specific ways in which you can use Innovation Games. The first way is directed market research, or market research that is designed to answer specific questions with data that supports taking action against these data. Examples of directed market research include determining what features should be included in a specific product release or specific pain points of target markets (including, but not limited to, existing customers, prospects, competitors, channel partners, and so forth).
The second is customer-centric innovation, in which you use the games to uncover previously unknown market needs. As you'll see later, Innovation Games are especially effective at creating opportunities to learn "what you didn't know that you didn't know," which in many ways serves as the heart of innovation.
The third way to use Innovation Games is generating the rich understanding of customer needs and desires that feed the various requirements techniques we use to manage products. User personas, scenarios, and use cases, assessing feature importance through Kano analysis, or creating "nonfunctional requirements" are all importantbut all come after the insights that lead to innovation, shaping them and defining them. Innovation comes before requirements, and playing Innovation Games with your customers creates richer requirements.
The fourth is providing support and strengthening the ongoing relationship that you have with key customers through existing channels such as customer advisory boards, user groups, and/or customer conferences. Instead of subjecting your customers to a boring afternoon of PowerPoint presentations, you can use Innovation Games to engage and energize them in a way that drives innovation.
These areas are all linked through the use of Innovation Games. For example, although you may have a specific question (directed market research), playing a game is almost certain to provide you with new information, some of which may drive innovation (customer-centric innovation). Part One starts with directed market research, because the process for using Innovation Games to support directed market research can be leveraged by the other motivations.