- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (September 7, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321437292
- ISBN-13: 978-0321437297
- Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Innovation Games: Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
Innovation Through Understandingsm The toughest part of innovation? "Accurately predicting what customers want, need, and will pay for." Even if you ask them, they often can't explain what they want. Now, there's a breakthrough solution: "Innovation Games." Drawing on his software product strategy and product management consulting experience, Luke Hohmann has created twelve games that help you uncover your customers' "true, hidden" needs and desires. You'll learn what each game will accomplish, why it works, and how to play it with customers. Then, Hohmann shows how to integrate the results into your product development processes, helping you focus your efforts, reduce your costs, accelerate time to market, and "deliver the right solutions, right from the start."
- Learn how your customers define success
- Discover what customers don't like about your offerings
- Uncover unspoken needs and breakthrough opportunities
- Understand where your offerings fit into your customers' operations
- Clarify exactly how and when customers will use your product or service
- Deliver the right new features, and make better strategy decisions
- Increase empathy for the customers' experience within your organization
- Improve the effectiveness of the sales and service organizations
- Identify your most effective marketing messages and sellable features
About the Author
Luke Hohmann is the founder and CEO of Enthiosys, Inc., a Silicon Valley-based software product strategy and management consulting firm. Luke is also the author of Beyond Software Architecture: Creating and Sustaining Winning Solutions and Journey of the Software Professional: A Sociology of Software Development. Luke graduated magna cum laude with a B.S.E. in computer engineering and an M.S.E in computer science and engineering from the University of Michigan. While at Michigan he studied cognitive psychology and organizational behavior in addition to data structures and artificial intelligence. He is a former National Junior Pairs Figure Skating Champion and American College of Sports Medicine certified aerobics instructor. A member of the PDMA, ACM, and IEEE, in his spare time he enjoys roughhousing with his four kids, his wife’s cooking, and long runs in the Santa Cruz mountains (because he really does enjoy his wife’s cooking).
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Top Customer Reviews
However, if someone isn't already familiar with running games like this, then they may need quite a bit of practice first. Since, the actual instructions are only part of the story: setting the right mood in the room is important, as is one's manner as a facilitator. The best way of learning this is practice, and working with someone who is already good at this and learning from them. Yet, as book go, there is another book I recommend on the subject: Moderating to the Max, and the Culture Code.
What this tells me is when I am in the role of eliciting requirements from another person, I need many different ways of getting information, because different means will achieve different results. I can take an analytical approach (tell me about...), a physical approach (show me ...), and a creative approach (let's play a game ...). The more approaches I use, the more information I will get.
What I love about Innovation Games is that games use a part of the brain that we tend to ignore when "at work", bypassing the analytical parts and tapping into the fun, creative areas. This is a great way to find new information about the requirements of a product or service. I think it works especially well because most people I interview are expecting an analytical approach, and using games brings a fresh perspective.
Luke Hohmann has really captured a great set of games. He explains the games very clearly, and gives detailed instructions for how to organize an Innovation Games session so that everyone can make effective use of his techniques.
Thanks so much Luke for bringing us another great book.
In "Blink", Malcom Gladwell makes the point that if you ask people what they want, they will tell you what they *think* they want. (When asked, nobody thought they wanted the Aeron chair. Oops.) It takes a bit of digging to get beneath the thought level, tapping into real emotional wants and needs to extract ideas for products that stand a chance of being wildly successful. The Innovation Games help with that digging, engaging players above and below the level of concious thought.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is trying to draw out customer requirements. There are even some techniques for discovering the killer features that will set your product apart from your competitors' (Give them a hot tub). I plan on using these techniques in upcoming customer engagements especially for helping them with strategic direction and product requirements gathering.
It's a must for any innovation professional.
"Innovation Games" acknowledges that innovation and creativity do not come from following a predefined sequence of steps but from pushing ourselves to thinking about products, users, and usage scenarios in different ways. One of my favorite techniques from this book is the idea of thinking of a product or service as a speed boat with an assortment of attached anchors, each representing something that a customer doesn't like about the product or service.
Playing the games described in this book will almost certainly lead you to better and more innovative product ideas.
Luke has packaged a collection of practical and fun techniques to use in conjunction with requirements workshops, which explore user needs. Luke writes in a practical manner, provides fun cards, and useful guidance on the facilitation practices needed to be successful with these tools.
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