Use The Apprentice Innovation Game to empathize with your customers
When you want to help your product development team get into an innovative mindset, it might be helpful to put them in their customer’s shoes. When you approach a product from the customer’s perspective, new features and developments have a greater chance of actually being useful to the people who will use your product.
One great way to help your team innovate from the customer’s perspective is to play The Apprentice game. This game is one of the Innovation Games developed by Agile development thought leader Luke Hohmann.
The point of The Apprentice game is to help product developers or software engineers experience the product they are building the way their customers do. The game itself is simple: have your team use the product to perform the most basic “work” the product will be used for, and then have them analyze their experience using Lucidspark’s apprentice game template.
This approach helps development teams gain more empathy for their users and discover the best (and worst) features of their product through first-hand experience.
How to use The Apprentice Innovation Game template in Lucidspark
While the experience of using the product as a customer will be valuable for your team in and of itself, The Apprentice game template will help you analyze what the team has learned collectively. You can use Lucidspark’s template to host a collaborative workshop where everyone can share their discoveries and give input. To play the game:
- Ask your team to use the product as if they were real customers. You can assign a certain number of tasks they need to complete or specify a certain amount of time they need to spend experimenting.
- Encourage them to pay attention to their experience and take notes on anything they find surprising. They can add these notes as sticky notes to the applicable sections of the template as they go.
- Host a review session at the end of the experiment in which you discuss what they found challenging and what they learned. You might also invite customers to join during this workshop to answer questions or provide further insight.
- Document the observations on the board and use the Note Panel to record any additional comments made by customers or developers. You can also use emoji reactions, chat features, or comments to make this session interactive.
- Use your findings to identify how your team can improve your product or service.
The Apprentice game will help your development team not only understand the product experience better, but also give them a greater sense of motivation and involvement. By the end of the game, you can hope that everyone on your team will want to create the best product possible because they want to make life easier for the people who will use it.
Author, Innovation Games
As the author of the book Innovation Games, Luke Hohmann dives into predicting what customers want through a gameified approach. Luke believes that once you know what customers want, innovation can thrive.