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

    team research & insights research company recruiter/panel moderators research company
  2. 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.
  3. data v. prestige Who cares about affluent baby boomers &

 the advertisers who love them? 
 I want the 18-24 demo!!
  4. 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.
  5. 20,000 people surveyed in three countries. 100 shop-alongs and at-home

    interviews. Post-hoc analytics. More? leading to… analysis paralysis
  6. research ≠ design Research is the process by which we

    understand problems. Design is the process by which we solve problems.
  7. 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/
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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).
  12. 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.
  13. we need to understand people and behavior so we can

    make better predictions and measure outcomes more effectively.
  14. 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.”
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. To make research meaningful to the whole team, 

    whole team needs: Investment Access Accountability nothing beats a conversation.
  18. 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.