How Product Games Work
Product Games will challenge you to put on the hat of a product manager and solve a real product problem.
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the way we work. It has demonstrated that working remotely can be both efficient and productive across a wide range of job titles and industries, far beyond what we thought was possible. As a result, companies are increasingly incentivized to offer flexible telework opportunities to their employees, even beyond the pandemic. Telework culture has provided many benefits, including increased comfort as a result of flexible working hours and locations, as well as broader opportunities for employers to recruit global talent.
On the flip side, remote working has also created various challenges – such as blurred lines between personal and professional lives and unclear performance metrics. Many employees have reported feelings of social isolation and reduced motivation, while businesses have complained of lack of long-term vision or infrastructure to support this volume of remote working. On the manager’s side, remote working also produced a lack of control and visibility of the team which can add to the anxiety and needs to be addressed to allow better employee effectiveness.
One thing is clear, these telework opportunities have created an impetus for continuous innovation in communication technologies. Fast Company predicts that remote work software, like mobile work tools and virtual reality conferencing, will surpass face-to-face meetings as the go-to workplace communication. Other technologies like VR and AI will also likely play a major role in managing remote staff.
Against this background and even as the pandemic slowly becomes a period of the past, many employees are still working from home. We would like you to explore the future of teleworking and the products could address these challenges. We are looking for products that will unlock opportunities, driving inclusion and enhancing communication in this increasingly remote environment.
- How does your product address the challenges identified in the remote working space?
- What are one or several remote working issues that you face today that you think are critical and need to be addressed?
- What is one killer product that can help people work remotely in a sustainable manner to meet the challenges of today’s world?
In teams of 2-5 people, you are invited to develop a product that addresses a specific challenge or group of challenges in the remote working space. As a part of your proposal, we would need a clear articulation of the problem, and the ways in which your product solution addresses it, empowering and supporting those working remotely. The solution must be validated by your user research. The product can be tangible or intangible, but it must be a product of some sort.
We have provided the list below to get you started on framing your chosen challenge and your product ideas. Feel free to pick, delete, and/or improve!
- Product Discovery:
- Identifying the problem or challenge (e.g. user interviews and feedback)
- Understanding competition: what makes this product or service unique?
- Mapping all the important stakeholders along the value chain
- Validation of the solution (e.g. prototyping, usability testing)
- Proposed User Journey:
- Defining customer segments targeted by the solution
- Identifying best delivery channels (e.g. website, apps) by customer
- Defining the process for user acquisition and retention
- Specifications for Minimum Viable Product (MVP):
- At the minimum, identifying high-level functional requirements
- If applicable, defining technical, data, and security requirements through an appropriate prioritization (e.g. MoSCoW)
- Roadmap for potential iteration of the specifications and a proposal of the iteration methodology (e.g. Agile, Waterfall) to be used
- Launch Process & Adoption:
- Defining a go-to-market plan (e.g. how should a lunch take place)
- Defining potential milestones in post-launch scale-up
- Success Measurements:
- Defining success metrics / KPIs and impact estimation (i.e. how much can your product improve the work efficiency? How to measure?)
- Commercial due diligence:
- Defining business model (e.g. subscription, one-time sell) and viability
- To the best approximation, deriving a timeline towards profitability
- Assessing impacts, risks and trade-offs of scaling up
The primary evaluation metrics are as follows, with a more specific scoring criteria to be shared with the competing finalist teams in advance.
- Product Concept and Design
- Clear articulation of the product and how it addresses the key challenge
- Critical functions and features targeting specific users
- Clearly identified user journey and understanding of user needs
- Well thought out user friendliness and user experience features
- Concept validation through user testing, prototyping, etc.
- Business Acumen
- Clear target segmentation
- Clear understanding of budgetary and resource constraints, as well as mitigations
- Risks & trade-offs of scale up
- Adequate KPIs and success metrics clearly defined
- Product Display
- Presentation of the product succinctly and to time
- Vivid product presentation, including product details, product design, etc. (e.g. create either a prototype, mock design, 3D model or anything that can showcase your product)
The submission should note the following points.
- The final presentation should be in the form of a PDF, no more than 15 pages (excluding cover page, agenda and appendices).
- Each team can have 2-5 students. Members must be from the same school/university and at least 50% of members are required to be MBA students. Members must be current students, or graduated not more than 3 months earlier than the submission date.
- Visualization is key. The judges would want to see a live demo, mock design or anything that can bring your product to life.
- Presentations are great, keep it to the PDF deliverable for the initial submission. For the final round, Videos are even better and it is strongly recommended to incorporate them into your presentation (Kickstarter style).
- Put the user in the center. The judges want to see what the user thinks and feels about the areas you are addressing and what they think about the product. Please provide user research.