Cooper hosts Innovation Games class

Luke Hohmann, author of Innovation Games: Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play will be here at Cooper to teach an intensive, two-day class about Innovation Games, March 30-31, 2009.

When: March 30th-31st, 2009 Where: Cooper, 100 First Street, 26th Floor, San Francisco Price: $995 per person, $895 per person for two or more attendees To register: visit the registration site. For group discounts, send email to

I was intrigued by the Enthiosys display at the Agile 2008 conference. Every time I passed by, the booth was filled with folks filling out colorful stickies and pasting them on posters containing grids and trees. Once I overheard a group of people engaged in passionate discussion about the relative benefits of different kinds of sunglasses. I asked what was going on, and learned that this was an Innovation Game called "Buy a Feature."

Because I am somewhat skeptical about feature-collection as a product design mechanism, I asked Rich Mironov to explain this to me. Did he really believe that you could ask people what features should be in a product and use that information with any confidence? Rich explained that you didn't listen just to what people said they wanted, you need to encourage discussion about why those features would be valuable, and how they would be used if they were available. At last, I suspected I'd found an ally in the product management world who understood that you needed to get behind feature requests to the human needs those features serve.

After I read Innovation Games: Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play, I began to see potential for new ways to engage with my clients in a more fun and collaborative way. Several of the techniques described are similar to the techniques I use in my research: Me and my Shadow, The Apprentice and Show and Tell. Another set seemed to be new ways to collect some of the information I collected through direct research, but in a new way: Start your day, Spider web, Remember the future, Give them a hot tub.

As an experiment in trying new things, and to build better understanding between the Agile Product Management community and the Interaction Design community, Cooper has invited Luke Hohmann to come teach a session of his Innovation Games workshop at Cooper. We hope you can come join us!

About the class

Designed by Enthiosys, a leading provider of agile product management consulting services, Innovation Games are serious games that help you understand how your customers think and what they value. This course will provide you with the tools to plan, play, and process the results of the games. You’ll also receive comprehensive notes, worksheets, templates, and books to help you bring your new experiences into active practice on your own projects.

In a recent Forrester report, analysts TJ Keitt and Tom Grant explain:

Serious gaming… can circumvent many of the traditional problems with product requirements, including collecting sufficient information across customers, partners, and internal stakeholders to make product decisions. Not only are the games relatively lightweight exercises, but they also use a lighter touch to resolve many debates over product decisions.

Who Should Attend?

  • Product managers and directors of product management
  • Interaction designers and digital product professionals
  • Product marketing managers
  • Members of the professional services organization
  • Any member of the company who has direct customer collaboration


Day 1

  • Motivations For the Games / Case Studies
  • Overview of the 12 Games
  • Market Research Overview
  • Using Innovation Games® to drive innovations in your roadmap
  • Using Innovation Games® to help manage your backlog
  • Logistics, Segmentation, and Planning
  • Facilitating the Game
  • Processing Observer Note Cards

Day 2

  • Extending Innovation Games to the web
  • Innovation Games® and New Product Development
  • Innovation Games® and Customer Advisory Boards
  • Tailoring the games
  • Closing discussion

About Luke Hohmann

Luke is a recognized expert on agile product management of software products and a former senior software product manager at four companies. He is also the author of three books and numerous articles on software product management. He is also a frequent speaker at software and other industry events. For more about Luke, check out the Enthiosys Web site.