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Hot Air Balloon

Driving the successful client workshops is certainly the most important aspect of starting the new project with an existing or new client.

Time plays an important role in driving such workshops because of the involvement of various stakeholders from different functions.

Clients are continuously thriving to enhance their current platforms, services and way of utilizing the digital applications, in such scenarios it is of utmost importance to understand what users like or do not like about their existing application setup. That's where "Hot Air Balloon" game can help effectively.

Team formation

If number of audiences goes more than 8 and then better to form the groups so discussion gets more productive.

The Game

It is a very simple game which gives better results in shorter time availability of stakeholder forum.

Hot Air, Fire, Wind

This should include the things positive about the platform such as:

  • The features in the existing platform that they like.
  • The particular use case or reasons for which they use that particular solution, product or service.
  • This is also something that is essential for initial acceleration to take off.

Anchors, Unnecessary load

This section should include negative things which are holding them  back such as:

  • The limitation that are currently holding them back from using the applications.
  • The feature that they don’t like.
  • The issues that they face while using the application - mostly these issues are iterative. 


A hot air balloon can be drawn on the whiteboard wihch should be considered as a solution, service or a product.

Once stakeholder team is ready then they can be asked to come up with their thoughts in discussoin with each other. These thoughts can be written on the post-it notes and can be added over the flipchart or white board. This discussion should include representation each necessary functoin from stakeholders. 

Triggered discussion will further help in identifying:

  • Real issues and benefits can be identified with further categorization and prioritization.
  • Stakeholder (groups) can be identified respective to their function areas.
  • Most importantly quick consensus on the scope or feature list can be taken from the audience.


Centralized Identity Provider system: Client would like to enhance or evolve their existing centralized system which currently in use for hundred of legacy applications.

Features users like:

  1. Opensource: Development primarily in Open source technologies.
  2. Python Flask: System is developed in Python-flask which is widely used in the organization for new application development.
  3. Minimal Profile Information: System stores minimum possible profile information so most of the profile data can be stored at legacy application level.
  4. Technology Agnostic: Any legacy system (developed in any technology) can utilize this system as IDP.
  5. Password Policies: Centrally managed password policies.
  6. Mobile Application: Support for the mobile application.
  7. Hybrid Environment: Integrating applications needs not to be on the same environment.
  8. User Guide: Extensive user guide is available.

Features users don't like

  1. TFA: Looking at the business criticality two factor authentication is missing.
  2. .Net support: Integration doesn't go smoothly with .net applications.
  3. Bulk Operations: Bulk data import / export is not possible.
  4. Mobile First: Lacks intuitive responsive web interface.
  5. Real-time Sync: Sync for web application and mobile app is not real time.

Hot Air Balloon diagram for the example above

Hot Air Baloon
3 minutes