Stormz Games - The Product Box
- May 21, 2015
- Stormz Games
The Product box is a classic from the Agile games line. The kind of typical workshop that turns an austere meeting room into a middle school classroom. In the usual version, this game needs a few accessories : A4 cardboard boxes, scissors, glue, stickers, and participant’s imagination... This workshop definitly requires some logistical support. It takes about 2 hours to complete and you need one facilitator to manage 6 to 12 participants max.
You can download the pattern for free and to it print to create your own customised game. Or of course you can draw it yourself. Download: see bottom of the article.
This workshop is so great that we came up with an adaptation to create more quickly a Product Box with more participants, less material whithout loosing its storytelling and its benefits.
Back to the roots: Design the box.
This game was developed by Bill Shakelford and popularized by Jim Highsmith, both “founding fathers” of the Agile method. It is usually used to launch new projects, to help facilitate any vision-oriented discussion and to determined a new product’s range.
Teams are asked to imagine that this product will be sold in a *department store**, just like another everyday product. As they imagine the product, they make decisions about its name, a slogan, a logo and 3 or 4 key selling points on the front of the packaging. And on the back of the packaging: a detailed description, the prerequisites and the conditions of use.
Why is the box such a winner?
By creating a future product, a project or an initiative through a box, you turn it into something concrete and manipulable.
The box forces teams to summarize, prioritize and concentrate the information. Imagining it for the mass marketing creates a creative discrepancy and a great entertainment experience.
How to play ?
The exercise moves through three phases that can be played in groups from 3 to 9 participants.
Stage 1 : Fill the box
First, the facilitator explains the goals to the teams: ”Let’s imagine that you have to sell…” It’s up to you to make your metaphorical project/product explicit!
Provide a few indications about the content that will appear on the front andon the back of the box:
*On the front of the packaging: name of the product and a catchy slogan.
*On the facing as well: the arguments, the benefits of this “product” and its major advantages.
*On the side: the instructions, in other words the actions to implement your project.
*Finally, on the top: the precautions of use, the risks and the focused points.
This first stage is dedicated to discussion and divergence. In groups of 3, the participants discuss together, write down every ideas on Post-it and organize them on a paperboard to share it with the others sitting around the table.
Stage 2 : Make the box
After the first stage, teams will share their ideas with the whole table. They will express new ideas, discuss and understand the issues by working together.
The facilitator will ask then the participants to gather their ideas in 3 or 4 major ones that everyone agrees on or not. Post-it need to be reformulated and repositioned. The box is now synthetic, ready to be sold!
Stage 3 : Sell the box
To design an innovative product is not enough; marketing departments are aware of that! The next step is to sell it which is only possible with some communication and some advertising.
The teams will show their box off to the others. You can organize a vote (show of hands, clapometer, the “pros” on one side of the room and the “cons” on the other one…). It can help the motivation of the team to announce that a prize will be awarded for the best box seller!
At that point, give the teams a set amount of time to prepare a pitch (10 minutes), which will be limited as well (around 2 minutes). You can time it to increase the challenge.
When should you use the Product Box ?
The Product Box is the perfect toolkit to summarize many information. Our two-dimensional version makes it easier to use in a shorter time.
It is also the perfect tool to keep in mind the most important information during a meeting, to develop a new strategy, to share opinions with colleagues, to imagine the future structure of a department...
Why did we create this game?
We wanted to adapt this game for a wide audience, so we presented here a version of it that does not need to be used with our app. We have taken many of our ideas from other successful agile games, which have been mainly popularized by the books Gamestorming from Xplane and Innovation Games from Conteneo.
Do you want to try a Product Box during your next workshop ?
At Stormz, our team is expert in facilitating large group workshops. With the app, make your Product Box more collaborative and get a digital result right after the workshop. Contact us to talk about this !