One of the first things we do in both Innovation and Lean 6 Sigma projects is to identify customer requests. Among the tools we use for this is the Empathy Map. Empathy Map is a useful tool in identifying these customer requests, especially if the project is focused on a solution that appeals to the end user. Its implementation is quite simple:
- Draw the Empathy Map template
- Distribute post-its to all members of the team
- Everyone should write how they will respond to the problem by empathizing with the customer on the papers in their hands and paste them on the relevant places (think, feel, hear) on the board.
- Keep writing, even if not all customer needs are mutually supportive. (e.g. the car should consume less fuel at higher speeds)
- When all ideas are finished, combine and prioritize ideas. You can also use CTQ tree to specify generic needs of the customers.
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