Gamestorming methods

Pains-Gain Map

by . Last edit was about 1 year ago
10 - 15 3 - 10

The object of this game is to develop an understanding of motivations and decisions.

DRAFT Pending Declined
Submit for approval

Additional info


The object of this game is to develop an understanding of motivations and decisions.


You will be able to upload attachments once after you create the method.


  • Flipchart
  • Markers
  • Post-its



Any decisions often boil down to one’s basic choices between benefit and harm. By capturing these specifics for a key person, your group may uncover the most relevant points to bring up in presenting or influencing the key person’s decision. This key person may be the ultimate user of a product or may be the leader of an organization whose approval is sought.

Start by writing the key person’s name or creating a quick sketch of him on a wall. Ask about this person’s pains first by prompting the group to step inside his mind and think and feel as he does. Capture the answers on one side of the person:

  • What does a bad day look like for him?
  • What is he afraid of?
  • What keeps him awake at night?
  • What is he responsible for?
  • What obstacles stand in his way?

A persona’s gains can be the inversion of the pain situation—or can go beyond. Capture these on the opposite side by asking:

  • What does this person want and aspire to?
  • How does he measure success?
  • Given the subject at hand, how could this person benefit?
  • What can we offer this person?

Summarize and prioritize the top pains and gains from the exercise. Use them when developing presentations, value propositions, or any other instance where you are trying to influence a decision.


The Pain-Gain Map game is credited to Dave Gray.

Source: Gamestorming

Comments (0) (  avg / 0 ratings)

Please Log in or Register for FREE SessionLab account to be able to comment or rate.