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It can be difficult to incorporate new methods into your projects, particularly for two reasons: your confidence and your stakeholders’ confidence. But the solutions are the same: arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible before beginning to plan.

1. Imagine what you’ll learn. Don’t be afraid to share it with others. It can seem wrong to guess at what user’s will say, especially if you believe that surprise is the mother of innovation. But stakeholders need to understand why you are doing what you are doing. It’s unlikely they’ll support you if you can’t paint a picture of the results for them.

“I’ve chosen to conduct research in Indonesia because studies show that they are very mobile-phone centric. So I think we may learn a lot about how other countries could begin using mobile phones in the future.”

“I’m planning to interview ‘extreme’ examples of our users. For example, an interview with a CEO may teach us a lot about how all business people use their communication tools. Maybe they have ways of organizing information that everyone could use…”

After you’ve conducted the research you’ll have real stories that trump the guesses, so the guesses won’t matter. They are just tools to get buy-in and help gather support for trying new methods. But they will have helped YOU think through what you are hoping to gain from the method.

Comments ( 2 )

  • Rosimeire says:

    I think another stagetry that can be used (especially for those indicators that are not required by regulatory bodies) is to study the best performing organizations in the area of measure. For example, for employee relationship measures who are the best performing organizations according to different evidence-based measurement sources (i.e. Baldrige National Quality Award, Magnet Designation, FORTUNE’s 100 Best Places to Work, MODERN HEALTHCARE’s 100 Best Hospitals, etc.), what are they measuring, and how are they performing compared to our performance. Of course one glove doesn’t fit each hand. Potential indicators have to measure something of value to your organiztaion and indicate whether or not you are improving on a measure that matters.

  • Nita says:

    I have been impressed with how hard it is to idfnitey good, solid indicators.My experience is that one must select an indicator and follow it for a time to figure out what might a better one.This process evolves a bit quicker when some regulatory body demands public reporting of certain indicators.

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