Aipmm ethnography


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Presentation/workshop for AIPMM, 2010. How ethnography fits into the product management process.

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Aipmm ethnography

  1. 1. Ethnography: From Intelligence to Insights to Action
  2. 2. <ul><li>What is ethnography: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The term “ethnography” is used fairly loosely these days and expectations and final outcomes vary as much as the people calling themselves ethnographers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethnography is more than a variety of methods, it is a way of approaching knowledge and understanding the world. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Before deciding to use an ethnographic approach, it is imperative to know what to expect. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>What is ethnography: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It meets people where the action occurs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is inductive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Does not go into the field with answers running </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is focused on systems, practices, and beliefs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is systematic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is best when it is exploratory </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>What is ethnography: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Everything is data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Focused for business objectives </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Best done in teams </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uses culture and shared knowledge as the center of investigation </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Culture… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is often not conscious </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is constantly changing/evolves over time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is Material </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is Normative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the Social Construction of Reality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural relativity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What to do with cleaning teeth, what to do with the dead </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Ethnographic methods
  7. 7. <ul><li>Ethnographic methods </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A core ethnographic technique is participant-observation, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>where the researcher participates in and observes the behavior under examination. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Observe </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interview </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interact </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethnographic research turns more traditional market research on its head, by treating the participant as the expert on the topic of interest. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Ethnographic methods </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The goal of ethnography should be understanding: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Unmet needs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Product usage and modification </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A product category </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The culture around a particular thing, activity, idea </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How people interact or move through a space </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The process people go through to choose a service or product </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How things and contexts are connected and influence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>each other </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Ethnographic methods </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sampling people and contexts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Finding the range of contexts where “X” happens </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the unit of analysis? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How many is enough? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Remembering that the goal is not means-based statistical testing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Statistical versus Practical significance </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>What to expect with an ethnographic research project </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethnography provides a vivid, real-world way of looking at a problem or opportunity. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethnography applies social and cultural understanding to the topic. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The more strategic and exploratory the research question, the more likely that ethnography will be a good fit. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ethnography is really effective at uncovering new insights and ideas that can be used to further strategic goals. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>What to expect with an ethnographic research project </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethnography is not the panacea, there are certain research questions/goals that make for a nice fit and others that do not. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An experienced ethnographic researcher will guide the business in presenting results and help them communicate the knowledge throughout the company. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An experienced ethnographer will work with a client to turn insights into action. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>What to ask your ethnographer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Much of what is being referred to as ethnographic research is </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>not really ethnography. Following are a number of questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>every ethnographer should be able to answer: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is my project a good fit for ethnography? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Your ethnographic provider should be able to suggest the </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>best methodology for your project, whether ethnography </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>or something else, based on your business objectives, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>timeline and budget. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>What to ask your ethnographer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do ethnographers have a discussion guide like focus group moderators? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Yes, they create a fieldguide to help frame the business need. However, each ethnographer has a different style of inquiry, and will not repeat verbatim what is in the fieldguide. The fieldguide is a tool for the ethnographer, not a questionnaire. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the ethnographic analysis process? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ethnographers should be able to explain and describe their analytical process and this description should include a reference to social and cultural theory. It should also involve an iterative process of data collection and examination. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>What to ask your ethnographer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How can I be sure I can use the results from ethnographic research to support decision-making? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A good ethnographic research provider will work with you to plan a research project that is designed around your business objective. A good ethnographer understands the difference between interesting and actionable findings. </li></ul></ul></ul>