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Why we adopted a Google Design Sprint at our Maginus OMS Day

Sean Sankey
Sean SankeyCo-Founder, Form
30 Oct 2019

 

On the one hand, it’s a no-brainer to involve your customers in the evolution of your product. Particularly if that product is something they use day-in, day out at the heart of their business operations.

However, the reality of user engagement can be a bit daunting, particularly when you gather people together to ask, “How can we make it better?”

Sometimes you get too much input back that it gets overwhelming. Or sometimes you get stuck on the first thing that the loudest voice in the room raises and then lose the thinking from everyone else. And sometimes the discussion just descends into the negative and is difficult to pull back round. Which never makes for a fun day for anyone!

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However, it’s well worth it. The prize of understanding where customers are at in their perceptions, both around what they love about the product and also where it needs improving is just too important to miss out on. But you need a productive, tried and tested process to get good quality input AND make it an experience that everyone enjoys and finds useful.

For all these reasons that’s why we used an adapted Google Design Sprint process at our recent OMS User Day. In the morning we publicly announced the launch of OMS v10, which is the culmination of 2 years work bringing the market-leading capability of OMS to the cloud. However in the afternoon we turned the session over the two and a half hours of post-it notes, structured discussion, idea creation and roadmap planning. The output from our user base was phenomenal… over 200 individual observations, questions and ideas raised refined down to around 25 workable, fleshed out concepts to input into our product roadmap.

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Here’s what we did:

  • We placed six key headings on the wall including Reporting & Analytics, UI / Interface etc.
  • Using those headings as prompts, we asked people to brainstorm what they liked and what could be better about the product. Here we go over 200 post-its on the wall!
  • We then broke into teams and began clustering those post-its to refine the input.
  • Once we had clusters the teams developed key questions from the insights that emerged. The questions were structured around a “How might we…?” For instance we had a cluster around “CRM and Contact Log” which generated questions like “How might we communicate the improved functionality of the CRM?” and “How might we enhance the look and feel of the Contact Log?”
  • Every individual – both from Maginus and our customers – then took one “How might we…” and fleshed out an idea to make progress in tackling that issue.
  • Ideas were presented back in teams and then to the room.

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Because the process doesn’t rely on a lot of group discussion and negotiation, but rather individual working and present-back, every single person got to contribute the best of their thinking on how we can make the product even better for those who rely on it. We got some fantastic ideas, the plan now is to take these back to base, prioritise them and report back to the user community in January on how we intend to roll out these and other suggestions throughout 2020 and beyond.

The future is bright for OMS and its users. With ongoing input from our customers and the commitment of our developers to keep making a product that solves real market needs we’re really optimistic about what our clients can achieve through having a product that delights them.  

The Sprint process was straightforward, useful and engaging and we’d encourage anyone who needs to get teams involved to collaborate and crack a problem to give it a go. If you’d like some help with it, then – of course – do feel free to give us a ring!

 

 

About Maginus

We are a multi-award-winning Ecommerce consultancy and in the past 12 months have won Magento's Shooting Star Award at its Imagine 2019 summit in Las Vegas as well as Episerver's Commerce Partner Of The Year.

For retailers – big and small – for whom success depends on growing online, we provide what it takes to sell better online. We do this by delivering class-leading Ecommerce websites that drive online growth and sales fulfilment solutions that facilitate next day delivery and customer service excellence.

We are independent and technology-agnostic but with close partnerships to several leading technology companies so we can always recommend the most appropriate platform for our customers' needs.

With a 20-year heritage in technology implementations, we take pride in helping our customers achieve long term benefits from the solutions we provide. We can do this, because we've done it before, for people just like you.