Skill Level Intermediate
- Teams that can clearly state what success looks like from a business and customer perspective have an advantage. They clearly understand their customers vision for success. To help you understand your customers vision for success there's a popular collaboration activity you can facilitate with user and customer representatives. It's called Speedboat. This version of Speedboat helps identify what your customers think would make the product even better I like to use this collaboration activity while doing discovery as an input to prioritizing and refining the backlog of an existing product.
When you facilitate this activity invite project team members, project stakeholders and customer representatives to participate. First, use a white space that everyone can see. This could be a whiteboard or a flip chart or even electronic whiteboard for virtual teams. Next, draw or paste a picture of a boat floating on the water with an anchor attached. Name the boat the name of your product. Next, ask this question to the group, what would pull the anchor out and make this product awesome? Participants will take about five to 10 minutes to think about the question.
And then ask them to write down their answers on sticky notes. Virtual sticky notes work well for virtual teams. Make sure the room is quiet and this silence will allow participants to be more thoughtful and innovative. Next, ask the group to place their stickys in the white space above the water line helping signify what would help that boat move forward. Then discuss the stickys as a group. From the discussion you can group ideas into themes and gain amazing insights into your users mindsets.
For example, if four of the sticky notes are about automatic recommendations then recommendations is a definite theme to what would make your product awesome. Everyone comes into the project with assumptions on what matters most. What is for sure, is that you'll have greater empathy for your customers experience and everyone will be more on the same page with why certain features have a greater priority over others. That will give you as a team greater shared understanding.
I encourage you to try out Speedboat to define success factors with your user and stakeholder groups. The new insights and context will help you prioritize and refine the upcoming items on your backlog and build more empathy for your users.