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Ep.39 Prioritisation: the Speed Boat method



As part of my series on Prioritisation, today the Speed Boat method. It helps uncover what users don’t like about your product or service.


The fact that they use your product usually indicates that they get at least some value from it. Despite having some frustrations, they want to help improve the product.

The Speed Boat method helps avoid group-think, and nit-picking by approaching a playful way to identify the issues.


How do you use the Speed Boat prioritisation method?


Start with an image of a fast moving speedboat. You want the boat to move fast, but there are anchors slowing it down. The boat is your product or service. The anchors represent those things the users don’t like. Get them to write them down their grievances individually. Ask them to estimate how much faster the boat would go if the issue was removed, which gives you an indication of the improvement priorities.


Pro Tip: the larger the anchor drawing, the bigger the pain point.


Now ask them to place these ‘anchors’ on the image, and clarify them as required. Make sure each participant is heard, and no issue disregarded.


Asking participants to write down their problems with the product, encourages them to think it through, and not just vent. It also might help make them more comfortable sharing their thoughts.


Self-awareness of the users will help getting to the real issues, and reduce minor grievances being raised.

First published here.

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