Lean Research Will Set You Free - Lean Day London 2014

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My talk from Lean Day London, hosted by Made by Many & Neo, March 25-26, 2014, on how Lean approaches to qualitative research make it more useful and scalable.

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Lean Research Will Set You Free - Lean Day London 2014

  1. 1. lean research 
 will set you free* #leandaylondon @farrahbostic * but first it will piss you off
  2. 2. happy birthday
  3. 3. Hi, I’m @farrahbostic ! ! I run...
  4. 4. i come from advertising.
  5. 5. we bet only on holes-in-one
  6. 6. this guy.
  7. 7. but…
  8. 8. $30,000,000,000+
  9. 9. information request research RFP study design recruitment fielding Analysis Brand/product team research & insights research company recruiter/panel moderators research company
  10. 10. why?
  11. 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. 12. exhibit A: 
 “passion” is a kpi. http://www.cmo.com/content/cmo-com/home/articles/2013/9/26/KPIs_CWTK.html
  13. 13. we’re not designing for data.
  14. 14. “those numbers won’t count themselves.”
  15. 15. what are we using the data for?
  16. 16. how (a lot of) 
 marketing people deal with data
  17. 17. data v. prestige Who cares about affluent baby boomers & 
 the advertisers who love them? 
 I want the 18-24 demo!!
  18. 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. 19. 20,000 people surveyed in three countries. 100 shop-alongs and at-home interviews. Post-hoc analytics. More? leading to… analysis paralysis
  20. 20. how marketers 
 ‘get out of the building’
  21. 21. “why do we even do focus groups anymore? it’s so weird.”
  22. 22. because, tradition.
  23. 23. because, tradition. but also, because, bias.
  24. 24. “statistically significant” “rigorous sample method” “information with authority”
  25. 25. “The data will tell us what to do.”
  26. 26. market research isn’t as sciencey as it pretends to be.
  27. 27. research ≠ design Research is the process by which we understand problems. Design is the process by which we solve problems.
  28. 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. 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. 30. you ≠ steve jobs.
  31. 31. 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
  32. 32. 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
  33. 33. it’s complicated.
  34. 34. “people lie.”
  35. 35. it’s not these people’s fault focus groups are artificial.
  36. 36. people are great.
  37. 37. 1. we ask them to.
  38. 38. 2. but often, they show us how we’re lying to ourselves.
  39. 39. we’ve sacrificed the truth for ‘science’.
  40. 40. how lean can help fix research.
  41. 41. 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).
  42. 42. 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.
  43. 43. people are data, too. (and vice versa)
  44. 44. cool story, bro.
  45. 45. we need to understand people and behavior so we can make better predictions and measure outcomes more effectively.
  46. 46. 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.”
  47. 47. we should always be checking our bias
  48. 48. and we should use data to trigger behavior
  49. 49. validation
  50. 50. scripts
  51. 51. statistical 
 significance
  52. 52. stop stockpiling data
  53. 53. stop trapping insight in powerpoint decks
  54. 54. 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.
  55. 55. Do less, more often Lean research is about continuous customer, partner & team feedback.
  56. 56. Use right-sized tools that are closest to hand
  57. 57. Go and see. This is the new intimacy.
  58. 58. the whole team can do this. http://giffconstable.com/2010/07/12-tips-for-early-customer-development-interviews/
  59. 59. 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.
  60. 60. To make research meaningful to the whole team, 
 the whole team needs: Investment Access Accountability nothing beats a conversation.
  61. 61. make information reusable, not disposable.
  62. 62. 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.
  63. 63. be nice, and listen.
  64. 64. what’s next? #leandaylondon @farrahbostic

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