Agile Research

How to turn Agile Research into an EPIC Strategy

Ethnographers in business have long struggled to be understood and valued in the realm of strategy, not just insight. Many have proposed ways of gaining a seat at the strategy table by launching hybrid research/strategy consultancies and developing research-invested, strategic innovation frameworks.

But what does that mean for ethnographers working in agile methodology? Can agile practices actually elevate research to the strategic playing field?

The answer is yes.

Although strategy and research are often conceived of as activities that happen in the early stages of a project or product, agile methodology presents an opportunity for a continuous through-line of evidence-based, strategic direction setting, positioning ethnographers as a new breed of strategic practitioner who act as a rudder to the often directionless boat of agile design and development.

Next week at EPIC, the preeminent conference on Ethnography and Design in the Business World, BeyondCurious VP of Experience Research, Carrie Yury and Sonos UX Research Director Kirsten Lewis will lead a salon discussion on how they have successfully used agile practices to elevate research to the strategic playing field. Drawing on their experience helping to evolve both the Sonos App as well as the design of the recently launched Sonos flagship retail store in NYC, Yury and Lewis contend that it’s not just possible but actually necessary for research to play a strategic role in fast-paced agile design exploration.

Their salon will explore how Agile Researchers can assert themselves as Experience Strategists: unique interpreters who synthesize and prioritize business, user, design, and development needs. It will respond to attendant challenges at both the Company and Project level by posing such key questions as:

  • How do researchers transition from an obsession on reporting data to embodying findings as active and constant members of the agile team?
  • Is it possible to apply research methodologies to understand and leverage the behaviors, needs and motivations of our teammates?
  • How can research claim a seat at the executive table, in order to integrate Experience Strategy into an organization’s central operating team?
  • How do researchers scale strategic efforts and approach across larger organizations without losing hard-earned new identities or negatively affecting the credibility of future work?

While the salon is sold out, beginning on Tuesday August 30, 2016 you can join the excitement and knowledge share by following Carrie on Facebook Live and Twitter, as she attends the conference on the beautiful campus of the University of Minnesota, interviews attendees and speakers, and prepares for their thought-provoking salon.

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