I stumbled upon Kano analysis a few months ago. It provides a nice technique for driving to “real” requirements that drive customer satisfaction.
I’m not fully utilizing Kano analysis yet; I’m not jumping into the deep end of the pool. As a starting point, I’ve refocused my requirements prioritization/justification techniques. I use the following labels – 1 Must-Haves and cancel the project if I don’t have these, 3 Differentiators in the market place, and 5 nice-to-haves. I allow for some ambiguity by using a 5 point system instead of a 3 point system.
If I get weighted too much in the 1 Must-Haves, then I delve into some Kano-type questions to help justify that level of must-haves. Kano suggests using a multiple question approach to double check answers, come at it from different ways. Questions styles could involve exploring boundaries or implications of taking-away to name just a few. This tries to understand if this is an indifferent requirement where “out of sight out of mind” does not impact product satisfaction. On the flip side, does adding this feature increase customer satisfaction. For instance in MS Word, I’m guessing that the Web Layout feature was not a must-have in Word 2003 original version. It’s a good differentiator from similar products but there were likely more important features to deliver successfully with proper quality.
Search the internet for Kano analysis and see what insights you find.