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This chapter is from the book

Playing the Game

When introducing this game, the facilitator should stress that it is a game and that there is no promise that the features purchased during the game will actually appear in a future product.

The feature retailers have special responsibilities to ensure that the game produces the most accurate representations of customer desires. They should not steer, guide, recommend, nor otherwise try to motivate customers to purchase certain features. They should not change the price of a feature. They should be able to fully explain each feature, so it is best if the feature retailer is a member of the product team. The feature retailer must keep in mind that the personal favorite feature of any given member of the team may not be purchased, and customers may not spend all their money.

Glenn Grossman of Ticketmaster prepared a simple tracking spreadsheet to keep track of which customer purchased what -feature (see Table 2.3). When the game was done, the spreadsheet automatically produced statistics as to which features were purchased, which customers participated in the purchase, and so forth. It also provides a convenient place for the feature retailer to record observations about the interactions among participants.

Table 2.3 Tracking Sheet for Customer Purchases

Create a tracking sheet and print it for use during the game. Because it is fairly common for participants to ask to return a feature when negotiations become complex, use a pencil when writing items in your tracking sheet. To help customers keep track of what the group has purchased, consider printing the tracking table as a large poster and having your helper write the results on the poster. When finished, transcribe your results back into the spreadsheet and use it to process game results.

Resist the temptation to give more money to customers who run out and ask for more, because it defeats the purpose of the exercise. When money is free, so are the features.

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