Praise for Innovation Games
"Innovation Games is one of those books you don't know you need until you read it, and then you wonder how you ever got along without it. If you hope to have customers tomorrow, you need to read this book and play these games!"
Michael J. Hunter
Test Technical Lead, Microsoft Expression
"Luke's book fills a gap in the bookshelfwe have too many books on how to build a product, and not enough on learning what to build in the first place."
Humans and Technology
"Innovation Games is a refreshing return to the customer perspective as the primary driver of innovation. By directly engaging customers with Luke's 'games,' solution-providers will build better relationships with their customers while learning about real pain points. Luke has balanced a unique mix of market research techniques with fun, team-building exercisescreating a better fit between innovators and their customers."
Director, Business Development, Palo Alto Research Center Incorporated
"I had the opportunity to experience one of the Innovation Games, Prune the Product Tree, at the Product Management Educational Conference 2006. Because it was presented as a game, a group of uscomplete strangers at the startquickly became involved and engaged in suggesting improvements and changes. This game makes it easy to generate simpler, standalone suggestions, all while helping you keep the big picture in mind. These games are a faster and more effective way to get high-quality input from your market."
Editor, Product Management Challenges Newsletter, www.ProductManagementChallenges.com
"I ran the Buy a Feature game at our 2004 user group, 'Agility.' The experience was enlightening and useful for both myself, as a product manager, and our customers. I was quite pleased with our customers' responses following the event. One person said, 'I'm honored you invited me (us) to this event and hope you continue to do this in the future.' Another said, 'This was the greatest experience I've ever seen your company do for customers. I'd like to participate in the next session.' As a result of playing the game, I felt I had a more validated list of customer requirements than before and I felt that my credibility behind these requirements was not challenged. It was truly empowering and I wish anyone who attempts to use Innovation Games the best success. It's worth every ounce of effort!"
Director, PC/EC Agile Software Corporation
"The use of Enthiosys' Innovation Games at our Technical Advisory Council meetings have not only provided us with wonderful insights regarding product strategies, requirements, and new market opportunities, more importantly they have given our customers new and creative ways to provide feedback in a way that they enjoy."
Vice President Sales and Service, Emerson Climate Technologies
"I highly recommend contracting with Luke and his team to help your Product Management organization run this type of event. He and his games structure the events so well that great results are almost guaranteed."
President, Rally Software Development
"Continuous innovation is hard. Continuously innovating the right products, features, and capabilities is even harder. After seeing these Innovation Games in action with real customers driving the development of real products, I am convinced that Luke has created a better way to ensure that customers get what they truly want. These games are fun for customers. But more importantly, they get customers thinking in unique and unusual ways, which leads to better innovation."
Ken Collier, PhD
President, KWC Technologies, Inc.
"Luke Hohmann had his students critique SD West at SD West in his tutorial on Innovation Games. I received lots of great feedback from the group. If you're interested in improving your product, there's no better inspiration (or source of information) than your customer."
Tamara Carter Sriram
Conference Manager, SD Events, CMP Media
"Luke has come up with a variety of innovative ways to invoke your customer into helping you improve your product, focus your product development, develop stronger customer relations, and save you time and money by delivering what your customers want. The techniques employed by the Innovation Games span creativity both on the part of the customer and the developer. Better, more focused products are the result."
President, Sales Engineering Group
"One of the most difficult tasks of a product manager is to understand customer needs and translate them into product features. This book not only makes this task fun and entertaining, but also easy to accomplish. The approaches are straightforward and make so much sense that I kept on finding myself saying, 'Now why didn't I think of that before?' Through his Innovative Games, Luke Hohmann does a magnificent job in harnessing and enticing customers to help product teams understand their customers in return."
Senior Product Manager, Software DRM, Aladdin Knowledge Systems
"Innovation Games deliver such rich insight! Every organization that considers itself 'customer-centric' or wants to become more so should make Innovation Games part of its standard tool kit."
Linda Merrick, CPM
P5 Group, Inc., and Pivotal Product Management
"Luke's done a great job packaging creativity techniques into fun, focused, useful exercises. Our team can't wait to share them with our clients. Another tool to use as we help companies develop market-driven, customer-focused products."
President, Phase Forward LLC
"This book provides, in excellent detail, the games and the tools and templates to execute them. A number of our customers would benefit from the outward thinking described in this book. A must read for strategic thinking product managers."
Stewart Rogers, PMC
Product Manager, PSG, Ryma Technology Solutions Inc.
"Innovation Games were an excellent way to put structure and fun into traditional focus groups. The resulting gaming environment allowed our customer participants to better interact with each other and be more creative as they helped us identify specific product and service needs that will certainly give us a competitive advantage."
Director of Marketing, Emerson Climate TechnologiesRetail Solutions
"Luke Hohmann sweeps aside the barriers that prevent software companies from understanding their customers. The result is software that includes the features customers actually want, which doesn't sound that radical unless you're a customer. His firm, Enthiosys, uses his process to produce big results for its clients. In his new book, Innovation Games, Luke does a clearand entertainingjob of giving away his recipe. You don't want to compete with a company that uses these techniques."
Chairman, Collaborative Drug Discovery, Inc.
"Developing truly innovative products requires a deep understanding of a customer's real needs. The exercises described in Innovation Games provide a unique and fun approach to a problem that has plagued product developers and managers for many yearshow to identify a customer's thoughts and behaviors in order to ensure your product is solving the right problems."
"Luke's games will transform the way teams understand their customers and how they work together."
"The purpose of this book is found in its title: 'Creating Breakthrough Products.' The 'Games' or interactive discussions Luke Hohmann offers will help anyone who is truly interested in discovering what the customer wants versus what the customer says they want or worse, what you think they should want. The 'Innovation' will emerge if the practitioner is patient and follows Luke's facilitation suggestion to 'remember that your primary goal is to gain a better understanding of your customer.' These techniques do work!"
CEO, AgileAdaptive Management, Certified Professional Facilitator
"Ever wonder where those software requirements and user stories come from? Hohmann provides practical techniques to help software teams develop insights into the real business needs and opportunities their solutions are intended to address. A unique and innovative work that will help software teams on their quest to build better software; software that is indeed a better 'fit for its intended purpose.'"
Software Business Advisor, Executive and Author of Managing Software Requirements (Addison-Wesley, 2003)
"Customers have a hard time articulating breakthrough ideas when asked 'What do you want?' Luke's book offers practical, engaging activities to do with your customers to stimulate ideas and explore needs and wants that they can't clearly state. These ideas will lead to more innovative, compelling solutions, and he even has activities to give you insights into the value customers assign to the features or solutions."
Pragmatic Marketing Instructor, Practical Product Management and Requirements That Work
"Agile methods have provided a framework for improving innovation, but there has been a missing pieceand Luke Hohmann has helped fill in that blank space. Innovation Games offers ideas, tools, and practices to aid the innovation process at its most critical pointproduct management, particularly product visioning. The key to innovation isn't some stuffy process; it is creating a collaborative, interactive, visually-oriented, fun, business-value-driven environment in which people can generate, aggregate, and make decisions on ideas. Using the material in Innovation Games will greatly aid you in building such an environment."
Sr. VP and Director, Agile Software Development and Project Management Practice; Fellow, Business Technology Council Cutter Consortium LLC, Arlington, MA
"At our last customer advisory board, rather than the conventional force-field analysis and requirements discussion, we played two Innovation Games: Speed Boat and Prune the Product Tree. The results were far more interesting than previous years' resultsparticularly the tree exerciseand yielded compelling visual representations of the issues facing our customers and what in our product suite they considered essential components. I took the tree pruning drawings back to engineering and taped the pages to a conspicuous part of one wall (we used the kind of oversized paper you find on easels). The developers gathered around one by one as they noticed the drawings going up on the wall and puzzled over what it meant. For the next 30 minutes, we stood around and discussed the similarities between the drawings, the customers' needs and their perceptions of what was truly important, and where components fit 'organically.' The discussion was superb and fruitful, if you'll forgive the pun, because the information was so clearly represented as an image...a metaphor...that sticks in the mind with far more tenacity than paragraphs of text or bullet points summarizing the same material."
Product Manager, TetraData Corporation
"We all have different mental models of what our words and concepts mean to usnever mind what we think they mean to other people. And these models are difficult to communicate.... Luke Hohmann's book of reliable tools, which he calls Innovation Games, help make these mental models that consumers compose in their heads visible and tangible for themand for youto see and understand."
Todd Siler, Ph.D.
Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Think Like a Genius, LLC
"Agile teams are now developing software more quickly than ever before. Unfortunately this doesn't mean they are always aimed at building the right products. This remarkable book will give you the tools you need to make sure your team is building exactly what your users need."
Author of Agile Estimating and Planning
"I've used Luke's games with my customers, and their responses were more positive than any I've received for any other requirements activity I've used. The results of the games were immediately useful in shaping our team's product vision."