We’ve spent two decades in the enterprise space, advising organisations on how to deliver great outcomes.
By far the most enjoyable aspect of our work is the opportunity to spend time with “real” staff. These are typically workers in frontline, field and customer-facing areas that conduct the core business of the organisations. The information ‘consumers’, not the information ‘producers’.
Now we say: whatever you do, don’t ask staff what they want. Instead, it’s about spending time understanding how they work, what’s easy, and what’s not. Where the opportunities lie, and where they don’t!
We call this needs analysis, but you could equally call it field research or ethnographic research.
This is our most common engagement as consultants: developing a strategy that’s informed by staff research and business priorities. It’s also the work that drives our passion for this space.
Enjoying remarkable diversity
The wonderful thing about conducting this research is the tremendous diversity of staff we meet.
Just this month we’ve talked with doctors, nurses, call centre staff, branch staff, teachers, lecturers, students, accountants and insurance assessors.
Even within a single organisation there can be a fascinating mix of staff and environments.
To give a flavour of this, these are some of the photos we took while conducting field research in a local council:
Make the most of your research
To help you conduct the best field research, these are a few of the articles we’ve written over the years:
- Conducting intranet needs analysis
- Selecting staff for interviews
- Needs analysis from a distance
- Fast tracking user research with paired interviews
Of course, as consultants we can help conduct this research. Drawing on our decades of experience, it typically only takes us five days of research to build a picture of an organisation, and which direction to head.
Get in touch, and we’ll talk further about how we can help.