I recently ran a very quick overview presentation (find it on SlideShare) of Innovation Games to the East Anglia SharePoint User Group in the UK.
The aim of the 1 hour session was to give a little insight into where SharePoint project challenges are and how, through the use of Serious Games techniques, such as Innovation Games(R) and Gamestorming we can break the vicious cycle of poor requirements gathering, unhappy users, SharePoint Celery and conflict between IT and the business teams.
I planned to cut the slides to a minimum and focus as much time as possible on actually playing a couple of games (“Start Your Day” and “Product Box”). When it came to planning and prepping the resources for the session earlier that day, I found I didn’t have one of the right graphical templates for “Start Your Day”, so I made my own:
Start Your SharePoint Day (Days of the week) - Graphical Template
Start Your Day
The purpose of the template is to enable me to facilitate a group of ‘stakeholders’ or users (in this case User Group attendees) to plot with post-it’s, drawings etc when they use a product (in this case SharePoint) and for what Purpose.
During facilitation of the session and afterwards collating the information, you get an awesome insight into why (VERY important), how and when people use SharePoint (in this case); you gain insights into the highs and lows of usage and learn about peoples dependency on the subject matter.
During our discussions about the “Start Your SharePoint Day” session, I was chatting with the group about how these techniques could be used to unearth opportunities for developing new functionality and generating business value ideas that could be applied to the current platform; “Start Your Day” played as described above, will certainly unearth some of these through attendees discussing missing functionality or problems they encounter, but the focus of the ‘question’ and the way it’s facilitated ‘normally’ doesn’t focus on this, that’s not it’s original goal.
So what if we turned the game on it’s head?
What if we purposefully sought to gain insights into new project areas for the current platform, how could that work within an organisation?
Maximising SharePoint Value in Your Org
The reality is that it’s pretty straightforward:
Stick up a graphical template on a wall, like the one above
(21apps will happily work with you to create some suitable for your organisation)
Ask your customers/stakeholders to completely ignore SharePoint
Get people to write on post-its all the (non-SharePoint) systems, processes and manual activities that they use or do or rely on through the week
(extend out to months, quarters, seasons, years if its appropriate)
Let them cluster similar things together to show level of use/need
There, you now have a rich pool of customer-driven opportunities for future SharePoint enhancements!
You could also go one-step further, once you’ve discussed these opportunities and ask people to use “Dot Voting” or “Prune the Product Tree” to choose the top opportunities they want you to deliver for the business.
Let’s do it…
If this sounds like an awesome way of unlocking some of the business value opportunities that are lying dormant within your organisation, then let us know at 21apps, we’d love to come and facilitate a session with your stakeholders and helpmaximise your organisations use of SharePoint.