Contextual inquiry: gather rich information with the direct observation method
Investigate on the ground to efficiently collect useful information for your inquiries, and ask relevant questions to users.
Buy a Feature
The “Buy a feature” template is part of the Innovation Games® collection, which aims to help companies prioritize the development of new features for their products, websites or apps. This fun workshop is based on a negotiation involving key stakeholders with differing interests. It stimulates discussion and debate among the participants. As a team, explain what drives your choices, so that everyone understands the decision-making processes and can find common ground. At the end of the workshop, you will be able to prioritize your feature purchases.
It’s an agile management method based on pretending to “purchase” features, with a view to deciding, as a team, which should be developed first. This fun negotiation workshop allows the team to decide which particular features should be developed rather than others, by involving all the team members in the decision-making process. The same workshop can be used to develop a concept, a product or service.
Derived from Luke Hohmann’s Innovation Games® collection, “Buy a feature” aims to boost teamwork, decision-making and action, and is therefore suited to many different contexts and uses.
The workshop is broken down into several stages:
The point is that with the amount allocated to them, team members cannot buy all the features. They need to manage their purchases. This means that they have to prioritize their choices.
Some team members can decide to buy a feature jointly by pooling their money. This means that one of the items must cost more than any one person can afford, so that team members have to work together to make the purchase.
By providing members with limited resources, represented by the virtual currency, they are forced into a process of negotiation and compromise. As a result, decisions are based on what the team members really need, since they can pick features and leave others to one side. They gradually come round to choosing those they believe will provide the most added value for the company.
Ask questions, to understand what has prompted team members to make their final choice. By making concessions, members have probably discarded features that are not necessarily key in the design phase.
With the “Buy a feature” template, project players who are not usually in the same team, come together around the Board and have to stand up for their often conflicting interest in purchasing certain features. The final decision is made following interaction and debate. It is enlightened and objective as it serves a common goal rather than an individual one. By using this method, you can record direct comments, monitor the decision-making process and get players to talk to each other.
Note: since the Buy a feature game is used to pick and prioritize the features that are of most value to customers, you can also involve them directly! Bringing customers into the equation, along with the other stakeholders involved, gives an insight into what they like most and helps you become more efficient.