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  • Workshop Description 1 2009-2013, All Rights Reserved, pmNERDS LLC

    Product innovation for

    customer satisfaction

    Contents Overview ................................................................................2

    Market Sensing.......................................................................3

    Problem Definition .................................................................5

    Feature Definition ..................................................................8

    Requirement Definition ........................................................11

    Workshop Deliverables .........................................................14

    Index ....................................................................................17

    pmNERDS Workshops

    version 1.3

  • Workshop Description 2 2009-2013, All Rights Reserved, pmNERDS LLC

    Overview Through this workshop, attendees will learn a systematic team approach to product

    innovation that is repeatable, defendable, and maintainable. Many times the

    organizations product innovation effectiveness is heavily dependent upon the

    capabilities of team members and their heroics. When team members change or a

    team is newly formed, the results are hard to predict and the ramp up time for

    members is very large. As buyers are demanding increasingly more product capabilities

    and interaction among products, product-lines are becoming harder to manage. The

    need to standardize process and centralize data to leverage enterprise, customer, and

    market information and assets has dramatically increased the need for better visibility

    and communication, not only between product innovation team members, but across

    other internal and external stakeholders as well.

    By leveraging leading practices in change adoption and our patented deployment

    process, our workshops help transform ad hoc communities into formalized communities

    of practice that support continuous innovation thru tightly integrated learning &

    innovating practices. The product innovation workshop educates attendees on

    practices, provides skills mentoring, and performance coaching around the following

    activities: market sensing, problem definition, feature definition, and requirement

    definition. The product innovation methods in this workshop are gated continuous

    processes that can support waterfall, agile, iterative, and spiral methodologies. These

    methods have hooks for more robust methods, which can be used to break process

    constraints of the product innovation team.

    Members of the product innovation team who will be directly responsible for or involved

    in creating or managing the specific product innovation assets of market evidence,

    ideas, problem statements, product features, and market requirements should attend

    this workshop.

  • Workshop Description 3 2009-2013, All Rights Reserved, pmNERDS LLC

    Market Sensing

    Intro to DANCE

    Market sensing is about establishing relationships that make everyone look good. We

    use the acronym DANCE to teach the concepts of market sensing.

    Differentiation: Evidence of Norms, Equivalent Comparisons, Perceived Value

    Anticipation: Co-Synthesis, Trends, Relationships

    Nudge: Contact, Covert Change, Planned Sequence Cost Position: Our Effort, Balance, Decreasing Trend

    Echo Chamber: Unfriendlies, External Perspective, Super Sonic

    By continually managing the relationship between the firm and the market through the

    principles of DANCE, product innovation teams will gain higher customer loyalty.

    Through this relationship the product innovation team can create market driven

    products that are responsive to market needs, and uncover extraordinary opportunities

    that lead to business breakthroughs. Market Sensing with DANCE uncovers needs or

    ideas that will allow the product innovation team to differentiate through its ability to

    provide value to the customer. This method helps the team to anticipate the needs of

    customers, and enables the customers to anticipate what the product innovation team

    will deliver next. With Market Sensing, the team has the ability to nudge the market

    towards future offerings while doing market research and interacting with them. Using

    the analysis of the competitive landscape, organizations can estimate future relative

  • Workshop Description 4 2009-2013, All Rights Reserved, pmNERDS LLC

    cost-positions. This method prevents the Echo Chamber effect where the product

    innovation team only hears their message being repeated back as opposed to true

    market needs.

    Intro to Ideas

    An idea is a documented request to the product innovation team from end-users,

    buyers, and/or stakeholders for new features, products, services, capabilities, or

    improvements to existing or new offerings, expressed in the voice of a specified person.

    The idea template is used to capture and define ideas at the same level of detail so

    that they can be compared and refined efficiently. Using this template the product

    innovation team can really uncover the needs of customers that are driving the idea


    Idea Gathering Activities

    The first step in this market sensing method is capturing feedback or ideas. This

    workshop introduces many market sensing activities that generate ideas and

    categorizes them into three groups: those methods focused on Market Analysis,

    Competitive Analysis, and Customer Satisfaction. Depending on the business objectives

    driving market sensing different methods are appropriate. This workshop drills into the

    details of the method of capturing ideas and feedback through customers and sales

    force requests, which is a Customer Satisfaction method.

    Customer Interviews

    Interviewing is used to investigate the perceived value of an idea and determine what

    competing solutions exist that is similar to this idea. This is used to establish an initial

    concept of the ideas differentiation and cost-position.

    Pugh's Refinement

    The workshop teaches how to use Pughs Method of Refinement to improve and refine

    ideas. This is one of the major opportunities for innovation in the market sensing process.

    Ideas are improved, and new ones are created by synthesizing multiple ideas into one.

    Portfolio Balancing

    The set of ideas are treated as a portfolio and market segment balancing techniques

    are used to eliminate bias and ensure that all target segments are represented. Through

    portfolio balancing the impact of loud customers is minimized, and the voice of quiet

    customers is solicited.

    Tangible Output

    A balanced idea portfolio is the end result of the market sensing process. The set of

    ideas that are captured, defined, partitioned, refined and ranked throughout market

    sensing are treated as a portfolio that is partitioned, optimized and balanced.

  • Workshop Description 5 2009-2013, All Rights Reserved, pmNERDS LLC

    Problem Definition

    Intro to FORCE

    The problem statement provides the force required to deliver customer satisfaction. We

    use the acronym FORCE to teach the concepts of problem definition.

    Familiar Form Location, Format, Style Original Perspective Technology, Stakeholder, Market Perspective Relevant Progression Performance Readiness, Change Risk Impact, Innate Roadmap Carat, Color, Clarity, Cut Categorize, Current, Comparison Enlightened Service Customers Value Chain, Leadership, Validation

    The problem statement provides the force required to deliver customer satisfaction. The

    problem statement highlights the conflict that exists between today and the customers

    desired state. The resolution of this conflict is the driving force of product innovation and

    will require change. Just as change requires force, to identify and resolve this conflict,

    the product innovation team will need FORCE. Problem Definition with FORCE, focuses

    on being able to provide enlightened service. This method focuses on helping to define

    problems that can deliver what customers need, not just what customers want. With

    enlightened service, the product innovation team discovers customers goals, and

    anticipates their needs, in order to provide them with empowerment to overcome


  • Workshop Description 6 2009-2013, All Rights Reserved, pmNERDS LLC

    Intro to Problem Statements

    A problem statement is the documented conflict between the existing or current

    situation and the desired situation. The problem statement uncovers the source of

    perplexity or conflict, both implicit and explicit; using the voice of the end-user in non-

    technical terms.

    5Ws & H

    This workshop teaches the 5 Ws and H method from Ikujiro Nonaka to uncover and

    define problem statements. When speaking about getting an original perspective of a

    market problem, we want to step back and look at its origin. Before trying to define

    how to solve it, we want to understand where its coming from and what is truly driving

    both the conflict and the desire to resolve it. The product innovation team must break

    away from their current biased opinions and narrow perspective and establish a new

    original perspective.


    The problem statement process first associates each selected idea into one of three

    sub-portfolios: Maintenance & Utilities, Enhancement & Improvements, and

    Transformational. When writing a problem statement you can write it so that it leads to

    different levels of innovative solutions. By categorizing and routing problems into these

    portfolios we can drive the innovation process to create solutions that are new to the

    world, new to the industry, new to company, or that leverage existing capabilities.

    Problems must be relevant to customers, and build up the customer readiness with

    each subsequent product launch. Relevant progression ensures that customers

    readiness is steadily increasing. This enables the customers to get engaged, anticipate,

    and make the products progression relevant.

    Standard Format

    This method not only teaches the use of a standard format, but also quickly illustrates

    the conflict driving the problem along with the customers desired situation. The

    principle of familiar form is critical to be able to compare, analyze, and select problem

    statements. Problems need to contain the same type of information and written in a

    similar format. Using templates and process steps, this method establishes a format for

    problem statements and multiple review gates to ensure all the information is captured.

    4Cs & GIA Diamond Grading System

    The four Cs are used in problem definition to compare, evaluate, and rank problems.

    The carat or weight of the problem is based on its market demand. This helps determine

    the potential return or opportunity size of addressing this problem. The problem

    statements color refers to the level of detail included in the description of the problem.

    When evaluating problems based on clarity we look for inclusions such as internal bias,

    obsolete and incomplete information, or external blemishes such as poor

  • Workshop Description 7 2009-2013, All Rights Reserved, pmNERDS LLC

    communication, overpowering and aggressive clients, misrepresentation, and

    manipulation. The cut of a problem statement is a measure of its market attractiveness.

    The higher the population desiring a solution to a problem statement is the finer the cut.

    Tangible Output

    A balanced problem statement portfolio is the end result of the problem definition

    process. The set of problem statements that are defined, categorized, refined, and

    ranked throughout problem definition are treated as a portfolio that is partitioned,

    optimized, and balanced according to desired thresholds.

  • Workshop Description 8 2009-2013, All Rights Reserved, pmNERDS LLC

    Feature Definition The product feature articulates the promised value customers gain from a specific

    product capability. We use the acronym VALUE to teach the concepts of feature


    Visualization End Results, Delivery, Use Accessibility Clarity, Single Truth Value, Compelling Purpose Lasting Impact Duration, Size, Applicability User Centered User Voice, User Capability, User Return Evolved Expectations Performance Readiness, Optimal Level of Complexity,

    Excitement Half-Life

    VALUE illustrates and teaches the concepts necessary to communicate your strategic

    intent to both internal and external stakeholders concisely. The product feature

    articulates the promised value customers gain from a specific product capability. The

    feature needs to have enough value to motivate customers to adopt the new

    capability and anticipate its launch with excitement. The features value could be

    based on its material and monetary worth, the support it provides towards a goal or

    objective, its strength in manipulating emotions, or even its ability to meet specific


  • Workshop Description 9 2009-2013, All Rights Reserved, pmNERDS LLC

    Intro to Features

    A feature is a distinctive characteristic of an offering that has a compelling purpose,

    intended to impress and delight the consumer at a specific point in time. It is a

    functionally noteworthy point or capability.

    Standard Format

    This workshop leverages a template that captures the feature goal and high-level

    technical approach. Using this format the product innovation team can ensure that the

    features are written in a way that is accessible, focused on the user, and that customers

    can visualize themselves using to get a desired benefit or result.

    TRIZ Levels of Invention

    This method uses the TRIZ Levels of Invention to determine the appropriate solution types

    for features. Alignment between the problem sub-portfolio type and the solution level

    are maintained to ensure features are in line with the markets evolved expectations.

    Typically the level of invention of a feature also impacts the value impact and duration

    of that impact which is the focus of the Lasting Impact principle. The goal is to try and

    balance the feature portfolio with features that will have as long a lasting impact as

    possible and those that have a large impact over a shorter period of time.


    The problem solving technique of brainstorming is used to define features for the

    selected problem statements. The workshop teaches guidelines as well as potential

    derailers or issues of brainstorming activities. While brainstorming it is important to define

    the feature in a way that it produces a clear visual image so that all the people

    involved will interpret the feature in the same way.

    Function Point Categorization

    Functional Point Analysis blazed the trail for business process engineering based on

    functional demand. This method establishes a foundation for functional analysis using

    standard function points in the feature categorization process. Specific products

    targeting various industries can modify these function points to make them more



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