Innovation Battlefield Template to focus on the right product features
What is the innovation battlefield?
The innovation battlefield is similar to the opportunity map. However, this tool is not about your portfolio of products and services but instead focuses on single features of one product or service. The innovation battlefield helps to understand which features are necessary (hygiene factors) and which ones are new and surprising features to differentiate yourself.
The innovation battlefield is thus a tool to optimize a single solution by focusing on critical features.
The template by Really Good Innovation, that was inspired by Board of Innovation, can be downloaded at the bottom of the page. But let's first dive into how you can best use this tool.
How to use the innovation battlefield to optimize your products and services
1. Chose a product or service
Look either at an existing product or service or think of a new offering you would like to evaluate. This can be anything but be aware that you should be have a clear idea of the different product or service features. One tool that can help you to clearly visualize the different features is the Value Proposition Canvas Template.
2. Make a list of features
List all the important features which this product or service offers / should offer. A good way is also to do this in a team where each team member individually thinks of the features first. Afterwards you can sit together and compare. You can write a sticky note for each feature or you can for the moment just write the whole list on a piece of paper
3. Rate the features
Rate each feature according to its novelty for customers (how exciting is it for customers) from 1-10 and according to its indispensability (how important is it to keep a feature). While you can do this exercise just with your team and discuss the rating, it is highly recommendable that you actually go out and ask your customers to have a more data-based rating. One good tool that can help you with this research is the Empathy Map to really understand your customer (not just what they say)
Really Good Pro Tip: Take the time to ask your customers about the different product features to gain a better understanding for the rating.
4. Plot the features into the innovation battlefield map
Now is the time to use the template that you can download below. If you have all the rated features already on sticky notes this is great. Otherwise you can also write them directly into the template.
According to your rating, plot the different features into the four sectors of the template:
"Must have features": the features in the bottom right corner are the ones you need to provide to keep your customers. However, not more resources than necessary should be invested there. "Unnecessary features": the features in the bottom left corner should be left out as they don't provide enough value for the customers and are not really new or exciting. "Key features to focus on": the features in the top right corner are the most important ones. The most resources should go into further strengthening them. "Unexpected but awesome features": these are "nice-to-have" features. Nevertheless they might be crucial to differentiate yourself from competition. Select some and try out what works best.