Step one is making sure the anthropologist understands the business, as well as the product. Clearly define the need for the research. Strategy. Scope. Integration with other methods. Establish the top-priority issues and business needs. What are the primary questions the research needs to answer when all is said and done.
Ethnographic objectives: Help define how questions are developed. Help define patterns of behavior that influence the final business needs. Lay the groundwork for how data is collected and organized. Example: The Gods Must Be Crazy. Defining ethnographic objectives helps distinguish methodology from outcomes. Interesting insights. Actionable insights.
Learning. Understand what the user or customer does. Understand why they believe what they believe. Understand how you product fits into a larger pattern of life. Exploring. Environment. Context. Understanding the system of practice. How do interactions influence patterns of use? Defines where you can and cannot make improvements.
Before entering into fieldwork, think through the possible situations in which your product will be used. What other activities people are engaged with when they use your product? What are all the contexts in which an activity is done? Who are all the people involved? These points will determine where, when, and how the work will be conducted.