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Lean Research Will Set You Free

Lean Research Will Set You Free

Farrah's Lean Day London talk about how Lean approaches qualitative research to make is more useful and scalable.


The Difference Engine

March 25, 2014


  1. lean research 
 will set you free* #leandaylondon @farrahbostic *

    but first it will piss you off
  2. happy birthday

  3. Hi, I’m  @farrahbostic ! ! I run...

  4. i come from advertising.

  5. we bet only on holes-in-one

  6. this guy.

  7. but…

  8. $30,000,000,000+

  9. information request research RFP study design recruitment fielding Analysis Brand/product

    team research & insights research company recruiter/panel moderators research company
  10. why?

  11. because marketers want roi, but avoid defining what that is.

    You’d think it might be cost per acquisition, 
 or customer lifetime value, or revenue. But often, KPIs are less about business results, 
 and more about media performance.
  12. exhibit A: 
 “passion” is a kpi. http://www.cmo.com/content/cmo-com/home/articles/2013/9/26/KPIs_CWTK.html

  13. we’re not designing for data.

  14. “those numbers won’t count themselves.”

  15. what are we using the data for?

  16. how (a lot of) 
 marketing people deal with data

  17. data v. prestige Who cares about affluent baby boomers &

 the advertisers who love them? 
 I want the 18-24 demo!!
  18. there’s a fear of small numbers Marketers worry about the

    signal-to-noise ratio. The smaller the sample, the more they worry about noise (wrong people, inaccuracies or untruths, groupthink, etc.) So they compensate with bigger sample sizes. But more numbers often make more noise.
  19. 20,000 people surveyed in three countries. 100 shop-alongs and at-home

    interviews. Post-hoc analytics. More? leading to… analysis paralysis
  20. how marketers 
 ‘get out of the building’

  21. “why do we even do focus groups anymore? it’s so

  22. because, tradition.

  23. because, tradition. but also, because, bias.

  24. “statistically significant” “rigorous sample method” “information with authority”

  25. “The data will tell us what to do.”

  26. market research isn’t as sciencey as it pretends to be.

  27. research ≠ design Research is the process by which we

    understand problems. Design is the process by which we solve problems.
  28. The CEO’s Kids “I keep a lot of kids around

    me and ask them questions and peek around the corner when they think I'm not listening. My master plan was I had a lot of kids. I have six kids. 
 Three girls that are six, a 15-year-old, 18-year-old and 22-year-old. 
 I have the perfect research team in my house." http://acupofteawithphd.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/live-from-cannes-cannes-lions-2013-so-farpart-4-its-diddy/
  29. It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A

    lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them. - Steve Jobs
  30. None
  31. you ≠ steve jobs.

  32. over targeting leads us astray “[M]ost companies with a practiced

    discipline of listening to their best customers and identifying new products that promise greater profitability and growth are rarely able to build a case for investing in disruptive technologies until it is too late.” - Clay Christensen, The Innovator’s Dilemma
  33. research ignores switchers, rejectors, fringe & new users “Generally, disruptive

    technologies underperform established products in mainstream markets. But they have other features that a few fringe (and generally new) customers value.” - Clay Christensen, The Innovator’s Dilemma
  34. it’s complicated.

  35. “people lie.”

  36. it’s not these people’s fault focus groups are artificial.

  37. people are great.

  38. 1. we ask them to.

  39. 2. but often, they show us how we’re lying to

  40. we’ve sacrificed the truth for ‘science’.

  41. how lean can help fix research.

  42. what is a lean company for? 1. To specify customer

    value. 2. To identify & implement the actions that create value. 3. To remove anything that doesn’t create value. 4. To analyze the results (and repeat).
  43. why does feedback & customer pull matter? Feedback and testing

    (a.k.a., research) 
 help teams settle questions and make decisions based on evidence not preferences. Continuous feedback helps teams see progress.
  44. people are data, too. (and vice versa)

  45. cool story, bro.

  46. we need to understand people and behavior so we can

    make better predictions and measure outcomes more effectively.
  47. theory v. information “Who needs theory when you have so

    much information? But this is categorically the wrong attitude to take toward forecasting, especially… where the data is so noisy. Statistical inferences are much stronger when backed up by theory or at least some deeper thinking about their root causes.”
  48. we should always be checking our bias

  49. and we should use data to trigger behavior

  50. validation

  51. scripts

  52. statistical 

  53. stop stockpiling data

  54. stop trapping insight in powerpoint decks

  55. empower the  research manager We have to transform the

    research manager from a project manager into a Scrum master. Their role is to remove obstacles to progress, and to facilitate communication. Their responsibility to the team is to facilitate hypothesis testing, and to create opportunities to challenge assumptions.
  56. Do less, more often Lean research is about continuous customer,

    partner & team feedback.
  57. Use right-sized tools  that are closest to hand

  58. Go and see. This is the new intimacy.

  59. the whole team can do this. http://giffconstable.com/2010/07/12-tips-for-early-customer-development-interviews/

  60. forget the horse’s mouth Don’t count on users to make

    your decisions for you - 
 that’s not their job. Don’t let the report be the end of your learning process - it’s just a way to memorialize what you’ve learned and provide a reference when you encounter similar issues again.
  61. To make research meaningful to the whole team, 

    whole team needs: Investment Access Accountability nothing beats a conversation.
  62. None
  63. make information reusable, not disposable.

  64. data should make us more empathetic If we design for

    data that helps us make decisions, 
 that helps us create value for our customers, 
 and that helps us develop empathy for people so deep that we can anticipate solutions to problems they can’t yet express… That will enable the kind of analysis sufficiently advanced to be indistinguishable from magic.
  65. be nice, and listen.

  66. what’s next? #leandaylondon @farrahbostic