Three ways to generate ideas to lead a Product Camp topic

Francis stared at the blank Google Form. She felt excited for the upcoming Product Camp on July 13th. Having worked in Product Management for four years, she wanted to lead a session, but she didn't know how to choose a topic.

"Do I talk about my team's new customer interview script? What about best practices with Jira? Would talking about my department's KPIs for Q3 spur discussion? What am I missing?"

She needed a way to both explore the breadth of ideas for a break out session, as well as narrow her ideas around a topic.

Here are three ways she used to help explore ideas:

Try Po Creativity researcher Edward DeBono developed Po to help move ideas beyond stopping points. Take a casual statement. Hold that idea in mind as true, and move the ideas forward.

An example: We're seeing contradictory customer feedback on our new product because of pre-sales commitments.

  • Market the product as two separate products.
  • Develop more personas from the feedback.
  • Split the app into two apps.
  • Charge different prices for the app.

Ask a hundred questions Creativity researcher Michael Gelb suggests an exercise where you list 100 questions on any topic, in one sitting. Try making a list of 100 questions around a product related topic.

On your review of the questions, you'll find the more obvious topics in the first 20 or so questions. You'll find deeper themes and more profound insights in the latter half of your list.

Free writing Take pen and paper. Set a timer on your phone or computer for 10 minutes and start writing. You keep writing until your timer stops. On review of your writing, note the themes that you've recorded.

By using these methods, Francis generated dozens of ideas for breakout session topics. How would she narrow them down to one or two that she wanted to submit as a topic to lead?

Stay tuned for our next post to find out.

Lino Jimenez