Two games I am adding as suggested activities for all Pitchworthy teams to help us all strive towards creating a clear direction for your project as well as avoiding pitfalls. The first one comes from Amazon and is called the:
Internal Press Release (or Working Backwards)
1) The game of “We work backwards from the customer, rather than starting with an idea for a product and trying to bolt customers onto it.”
- Ian Mcallister at Amazon
The idea is to write a press release as if the project is done and was successful using non technical accessible “Oprah Speak” describing the benefit to customers and why it’s better than whatever is already out there.
The general outline they use is:
- Heading - Name the product in a way the reader (i.e. your target customers) will understand.
- Sub-Heading - Describe who the market for the product is and what benefit they get. One sentence only underneath the title.
- Summary - Give a summary of the product and the benefit. Assume the reader will not read anything else so make this paragraph good.
- Problem - Describe the problem your product solves.
- Solution - Describe how your product elegantly solves the problem.
- Quote from You - A quote from a spokesperson in your company.
- How to Get Started - Describe how easy it is to get started.
- Customer Quote - Provide a quote from a hypothetical customer that describes how they experienced the benefit.
- Closing and Call to Action - Wrap it up and give pointers where the reader should go next.
For more information on the practice and how amazon uses it as well as details about the process can be found here:
Premortem - Writing the obituary for why your project might fail
No one likes to fail, yet guess what, failure is one of the best classrooms out there. Yet it’s a classroom no one wants to enter. How can you benefit from the process of failing in your imagination before failing in the real world? By doing a premortem
These steps - derived from this article - can help you take practical steps to figuring out what could go wrong and then avoiding it.
- Imagine the worst: Start the meeting by exposing that the project at hand has been a complete disaster.
- Generate Reasons for Failure: Ask each person to write down all the reasons they can think of to explain the failure that occurred.
- Share Reasons for Failure: Ask each person to share one item on their list and continue to go around the room until everyone has exhausted their lists. Record all reasons on a white board.
- Brainstorm with solutions: Discuss solutions to prevent this from happening.
- Review the list: After the session, review the list and look for ways to strengthen the plan.
Hope you enjoyed these activities! Would love to see your answers here! Tell me if you’d like more!