The phone rang, and I knew it was trouble. I had been avoiding my boss all day, and now he was finally calling. I braced for the inevitable yelling. "Tim, we need to talk," he said in his usual gruff voice. I could tell from the sound of his voice that he was angry, but I had no idea why. As soon as I walked into his office, I knew. There on his desk was the new product - the one I had been working on for months. And it was a disaster.
What happened? What's going on? In this article I'm going to show you why exploring different options is a crucial part of the product development process - and how it can save you time and money.
Let's start with a story.
You're a swimmer, and you're competing in the Olympics for a chance at gold. You've been training since before you could walk, spending hours in the pool every day, perfecting your form and trying to get faster. You've come such a long way since you were young, and now it's all led up to this event.
As you're standing on the starting block waiting for the gun to go off, you can't help but wonder: Will I finally find my gold? You're ready - more than ready. And the gun finally goes off.
For a moment you feel like you're flying, propelled forward by your strong legs and beautiful form. But then something happens that you hadn't planned for: Your goggles start filling with water. You can't see a thing, and it slows you down as your competitors fly ahead of you. You come in fourth place - way behind the leaders.
What happened? How could this have been prevented? When we look at this situation metaphorically, you might notice that if your goggles hadn't filled with water, you would have come in the first place. And this story can be applied to product development.
Every company wants its new products to be the next big thing. But how are they supposed to find out what customers want if they don't know where to start?
Well, there's a solution: Ideation.
What is Ideation and why do you need it for product development?
Ideation is the process of generating and evaluating ideas. It's a crucial step in the product development process because it allows you to explore different options and come up with the best possible solution for your customer.
There are many different types of ideation, but all of them share one common goal: to come up with the best possible solution for your customer. Ideation can be used to generate new ideas, evaluate existing ideas, and even combine multiple ideas into a single, cohesive solution
Ideation is an essential part of product development because it allows you to explore different options and come up with the best possible solution for your customer.
Here's an example: Imagine you're the CEO of a company that makes baby products. You want to come up with some new ideas for your next product, and you don't know where to start. So, what do you do?
The benefits of facilitated ideation
Ideation is an essential part of product development because it allows you to explore different options and come up with the best possible solution for your customer
But how do you do that? Well, ideation can be facilitated by a professional facilitator or it can be completed internally. Facilitated ideation is when a professional facilitator helps your team to generate and evaluate ideas.
One of the benefits of facilitated ideation is that it can help you save time and money by helping your team determine the best possible solution for your customer
Look at this example: You're in charge of product development for a technology company and you're trying to come up with the best possible product to sell. You start by having your team brainstorm ideas, but that process is long and tedious; it takes a lot of time and effort, and it generates way too many ideas for you to choose from.
Instead of spending hours generating ideas - which can be overwhelming and diverting - you pay a facilitator to facilitate the ideation session for you
Now your team is engaged, more focused, and coming up with new ideas that are truly innovative. And when you're done, you know which ideas are the best ones for your company to focus on.
That's the power of facilitated ideation. It helps you focus your team and save time and money by helping your team determine the best possible solution for your customer.
How to keep track of your ideas during ideation
Besides having a facilitated ideation session, you can also be part of the process and help generate ideas yourself.
One thing to remember: It's important to always keep track of your ideas! That way, if you need them later on in the process, you'll know where to look
The good news is that there are a lot of ways you can do this: You can write your ideas on sticky notes and post them around the room, you can write them in a notebook or an online document, etcetera.
In summary, ideation is a crucial step in the product development process because it allows you to explore different options and come up with the best possible solution for your customer. Facilitated ideation can help you save time and money by helping your team determine the best possible solution for your customer. It's important to remember to keep track of your ideas during ideation so that you can use them later on in the product development process. Simply guessing what the consumer wants isn't enough - ideation allows you to get feedback from customers directly and come up with products they'll love.