Imagining something that does not exist can be difficult. It requires a creative and open-minded attitude which can be hard to find in organisations that have “been there, tried it, and got the T-shirt”.
Rather than just focussing on the future product, I like to help the team to imagine a delighted customer, a new way to achieve things, a story about how the world could be better in the future.
A successful technology product will have to fulfil unmet needs in a delightful way, be technically possible and commercial. Two out of three isn’t bad, it’s a failure. For this reason I like to work with a team that can represent all three points of view.
“It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time.”
Sir Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)
Outcomes from the activities include a shared understanding of how the user need can be met. Sometimes this is a diagram, a use case scenario, a specification, or often a photograph of a whiteboard and associated notes.
Later in the project we will return to this activity to work out the details of particular features of the product or to respond to changes in the market.