In the last weeks I facilitated three sessions for our Sales Team in which I mixed up or combined different creative methods: 6-3-5 brainwriting, 2020 Vision and NUF Test. The goal was to create different ranked lists with answers to the question “How can we increase our total revenue?”
The 6-3-5 brainwriting was the first session and created 162 ideas from 9 different persons within 45 minutes. (Read my post on how to use 6-3-5 brainwriting here ») A Sales colleague and myself clustered the ideas afterwards and we could start the following session with 17 topics that directly resulted out of the clustering of the 6-3-5 brainwriting.
2020 Vision & NUF Test
The second session lasted 90 minutes (with a 5 minutes break). I started with introducing the cluster generated topics. After that we discussed and noted the benefits for each topic. This very straight forward excercise is necessary to shed a light on all topics, so that everyone gets about the same idea what is understood by the topic. I left out the ranking part of the 2020 vision and continued with the NUF Test.
The NUF Test “tests” each topic on three different criteria. We chose “new” (Is it a new idea?), “useful” (Would it really help to increase our total revenue?) and “feasible” (Can it be realized or is it utopia?) as the criteria, but you could as well adapt the criteria to your needs. The group rates each topic on a scale from 1 to 10 (with 1 being poor and 10 being top) for each criterion.
To get a quick agreement of the group for the individual scores we used a normal deck of cards (with Ace (=1) to 10) : Like in Agile Planning Poker everyone put the card with his score upside down on the table. After everyone had put down their card, everyone turns the card and checks with the group members. After a bumpy start with the first ratings we gained speed and quickly rated all topics. (And it was fun! :))
As a result you already have a nicely ranked list of your ideas by simply adding up all scores for each topic.
But we wanted to take it one step further and met for a third session….
(2020 Vision and NUF Test are best described in the book Gamestroming from D. Gray, S. Brown and J. Macanufo. If you don’t have it, BUY IT!)
As an additional criterion we added “estimated earnings” to our list of 17 topics. This turned out to be difficult for some of the group because it is hard to give an estimating for a topic you are not really familiar with. (But it’s “only” an estimate, isn’t it?) This time, we used post-its to write down the estimates individually and then adjusted the estimate with the group.
Finally we split all topics in two categories (Can we realize the topic predominantly by ourselves? OR Is there predominantly an external dependency to realize it?) and finished the session after 50 minutes.
After the three session we had four ranked lists:
– all topics ranked by NUF
– all topics ranked by “Est. Earnings”
– topics that can be realized by ourselves ranked by NUF and “Est. Earnings”
– topics that can be realized only with external dependency ranked by NUF and “Est. Earnings”
What do you think?
Does it sound like combining too many methods or like worth giving it a try?