Research doesn’t affect anything? What to do about it? | by Dmitry Korzhov | Dec, 2021


How often do you do research for the sake of research? It is a common practice for stakeholders to believe that their hypotheses are correct from the outset, and research is conducted in a formal process that does not affect anything.

This is actually a common practice. Any specialist always believes that he “knows best”. He knows what the user needs and does not need any research.

But what is the end result? The product fails, and the specialist begins to blame everyone around him, except himself.

Customers are to blame! They do not understand the value of our product, they need it!

Marketers have failed to disclose the value of the product and are not positioning it correctly, this is their mistake!

And so on, about each specialist in the company.

The key mistake of such specialists is that they do not consider the research process in the context of product development, but perceive it as something separate, something optional, but formally important for reporting to the manager.

Research is part of the most important part of the product in terms of CX and UX, and especially if we are talking about digital products, where you can get instant feedback from customers.

There are 3 main ways to influence and develop a culture of research: awareness raising, training, and repository. Let’s talk about each in a little more detail.

This is a process where all stakeholders within the company know what you do and what value it brings to the company.

For many professionals, researchers are the ones who conduct interviews and run surveys. But this is not so, they do not understand the real value of the role. We need to raise this value by showing the process and the business result of our actions for the company.

There are some mechanics that I have highlighted in the course of my work that will allow you to raise the awareness of your colleagues:

  1. Involvement and involvement of colleagues in research;
  2. Conducting internal educational events on research topics;
  3. Mailings with results / interesting conclusions from the research;
  4. Initiative of product changes (formulation and transmission of hypotheses, brainstorming with departments);

This is not just a process of involving specialists who are involved in product development in research — it is teaching it. It is necessary to make sure that specialists do not depend on researchers and can independently conduct them. Only then will they understand the fundamental value and importance of the research process.

Learning methods:

  1. Process manuals (templates, process descriptions, department knowledge base, etc.)
  2. Recorded video materials;
  3. Conducting live webinars / master classes with elements of practice;

And any other practices in which you give your colleagues a research process foundation to help them develop a product.

This is an internal repository of documents, insights, manuals — and everything else that concerns your department.

When I was developing my repository, I highlighted the most necessary properties so that it effectively affects the work of the company:

  1. Speed ​​— without wasting additional time on parsing folders / reports that he does not need. A simple search system that would allow you to quickly find what you need at the moment;
  2. Independence — no help or questions to other departments. An intuitive system of navigation, descriptions and names, which would allow any specialist from any department to find the information that he needs;
  3. Efficiency — so that the information viewed by the stakeholder is useful to him and qualitatively affects the financial result of those actions, because of which he needed research information;

The development of such a system will greatly help not only your department, but the entire company as a whole.

Research, as mentioned earlier, is not part of a product, not a separate entity. To make a product that will appeal to your customers, you need to make research a process that influences the course of its development.

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