Whether you’re a big company, a start-up, a freelance, a CEO, a developer or a designer, we’ve all once worked on a project and had to come up with ideas, propositions and opportunities. In any group discussion, we often encounter the issue of personal perception. People will naturally try to convince others of their ideas and push their own opinions and interest within the project. In a business situation, the hierarchy between co-workers will also have an effect, as well as the relationships between people.

All of these influencing factors are unwanted even if they’re not especially detrimental to the project. The best scenario is when each idea is heard and seen as an opportunity, regardless of who said it, who wants it and who might disagree with it.

That’s where the POW NOW HOW WOW model comes in. This model aims to help remove personal perception by focussing on the core of each proposition or idea. It consists of a simple template, dividing all ideas on two axes:

Cost versus added value.

If an idea is within the budget and has added value for the project, it is viable. Instead of dividing each axis into numbers, it is divided into four simple categories: POW, HOW, NOW and WOW. By putting all the ideas into this model, it is possible to reach a much more objective result.

Pow How Now Wow EVO Group

But how do you use it ?  Let’s say that you are a mid-sized company and you want to develop a mobile app that allows people to find their keys with their smartphone. In order to get started, you get together for a creative co-design session, to bounce ideas off each other. You start discussing the project and writing ideas down on a bunch of post-it notes.


Don’t leave those post-its to get lost and die on your desk! Instead, place them in the POW HOW NOW WOW model!  Concretely:


“POW” aka shoot it down

This idea is too expensive to realise and doesn’t really have added value. Therefore, there’s no reason to pursue it.

Example: Developing a web version of the key-finding app.
➔  This would mean a whole additional interface for desktop (expensive) and no real added value because you need to be mobile to find your keys.

“HOW” aka impossible

This idea has added value but is very expensive to develop or implement. How can you do this at reasonable cost, within the budget?

Example: Providing a bluetooth key hanger that emits a sound.
➔  Getting key hangers made with a bluetooth system and an integrated speaker system can be very expensive and requires a system to send it to each user when they download or purchase the app. It has added value, though, and might be worth the investment.

“NOW” aka meh…

This idea is doable, it’s not too expensive but it doesn’t have that much added value. You could do it right now, but should you?

Example: Making it a smart application to make it compatible with the IoT
➔  How much value would it add to your app to make it a smart app? It wouldn’t be too costly but is it necessary? This might be the Now category, but it might be better to leave it on the back burner for a while until you see results fromthe launch of the app. Who knows, after tweaking your project, this might become a Wow…

“WOW” aka Just do it!

This idea is AMAZING. It is absolutely doable, the added value is through the roof and it is not expensive to do.

Example: Making it possible to add more than one object per account, like a second set of keys or a wallet.
➔  Imagine a couple living together: they have two sets of keys. What if they each want both sets of keys in their app, so they can find their partner’s key, just in case.  You already have everything in place for one set of keys, so it won’t be expensive to add other items. This idea is a definite go!EVO POW HOW NOW WOW post-its

Now that you have a clear view of all the ideas and where they stand, you can make decisions and start planning and prioritising. Put all your WOWs in order, decide which NOWs and HOWs might be worth the money and the effort and try to let all the POWs down easy.

That’s right, thanks to its simplicity, this model will not only help you figure out how to leave people’s personal perceptions out of the discussion but it will also help you focus, decide and prioritise afterwards. As a wise man once said:

“Simplicity is the key to brilliance.” – Bruce Lee


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