Workshop Description 1 2009-2013, All Rights Reserved, pmNERDS LLC
Product innovation for
Contents Overview ................................................................................2
Problem Definition .................................................................5
Feature Definition ..................................................................8
Requirement Definition ........................................................11
Workshop Deliverables .........................................................14
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
Workshop Description 3 2009-2013, All Rights Reserved, pmNERDS LLC
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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-
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
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.
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.
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,
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.
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