One of the first activities we undertake at the beginning of a development project is having our clients take the team through their vision for the project. Sometimes our clients need a little help forming that vision, especially for a green fields project.
Yesterday we ran a couple of activities with a new client to help them define what will make the project a success. The activities we chose were: Success sliders and the Press Release exercise. In this post we’ll take you through how Success sliders works and how it helps to further define what will constitute project success for our client.
Step 1 – Set up a poster or whiteboard in a grid of 6 rows by 5 columns.
Step 2 – Label the rows with your success factors. In this case we’ve chosen subjects common to software development projects. Number the columns 1-5, 1 being least important and 5 being most important.
Step 3 – Place post it notes in column 3 of each row. Tell your workshop attendees that they are now invited to rank the success factors from most important to least important for each item. The only constraints are that the total value of rankings must equal 18 and they must work together to agree.
Above is an example of how our client ranked these items during the workshop we ran yesterday.
Not only is this a good way of determining which success factors are more important than others it’s also a really good first look at prioritisation. People often struggle with prioritisation and the tendency is to regard every item as the most important. Placing a constraint on the total numerical value forces the team to consider what’s really most important and helps them to understand the nature of trade offs.