NABC stands for Needs, Approaches, Benefits, Competition. It can be used to boil down an idea to it’s essence: Can you convincingly explain how your new approach satisfies an important customer need in a way it offers compelling benefits compared to competing solutions?

Requirements Abstraction Model (RAM) is a thinking tool that organizes requirements according their level of detail. A detailed description of the requirements abstraction model can be found on Tony Gorschecks publication list. The four basic levels are product level (goals of the software system), feature level (scope), function level (detailed requirements) and component level (design constraints). Any requirement can be placed in this model and by simply looking at the model a project team can see unmotivated requirement (no connection to a higher level requirement) or underspecified requirements (no connection to lower level requirements).

Sketching User Experiences is a technique from HCI where a team quickly builds mock-ups, prototypes and uses other means to create an experience of a possible product to be. The term was coined by Bill Buxton in his book Sketching User Experiences. Also have a look at how to kill or cure the user centric way.

SPIN stands for Situation, Problem, Impact, Need. It is a schema to think about customers’ needs. If you do understand the customers’ situation, their problems and the impact of these problems, you can now phrase what they need. With this simple approach, presenting the right service becomes much easier! Look e.g. for the book “Spin Selling” from Neil Rackham where the method is published.

Story of an idea are the few words needed to make an idea believable and promising for the people listening to it so they start the needed change process to make the story become true. See powerful stories for more details. A good story is the best helper for an idea to gain momentum.

Storytelling is technique from HCI where the team creates a narrative of how users are going to use a product, once it will be available. Storytelling uses the same elements as a fiction books. It has great characters, a plot, a setting in time and space, is concrete etc. This technique allows readers or listeners to actually have an experience of the future life and give feedback to it. A storyboard is one example way visualizing it.

User Experience has a somewhat official definition through an ISO standard: According to ISO 9241-210, user experience means “a person’s perceptions and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system or service.” The claim from a business point of view: the greater the experience or the more desirable the anticipated experience is, the more eager customers will be to spend money. The challenge: every person will respond differently to a product and service and creating a service so that a significant part of the targeted audience has a great experience needs a effective feedback loop.

User Story Mapping is a technique to organize a backlog. The story map especially helps to keep the overview over backlogs. Jeff Patton’s post. A similar technique called requirements map has been proposed by Holly Jamesen and her collegues in 2000 (Fake People And Sticky Notes). It shows how the user centred techniques and the mapping plays together. A must read.

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