cross-functional collaboration @ Groupon
Co-leading with a researcher partner, we brought together sales, account management, engineering, product management, and design in a day long workshop focused on finding a shared understanding of small business owners through research and insights discovery.
In a very large company, bring together people from key organizations to foster team building, mutual respect, and a shared understanding of their customers. A secondary goal was to give account management and sales teams the tools to be front-line information gatherers for the research team because they could spend more time speaking with customers than anyone else.
- Demonstrate listening/observation skills to get the most from research participants
- Design & use appropriate interview techniques to prevent biased outcomes
- Take another person's point of view to build empathy and analyze their behaviors
- Translate observations into actionable insights for real-world projects
Once the teams returned from their field visits, they used the affinity diagram method to organize their notes into ten themes. Examples of the themes were: tools & points of sale systems, customer service, brand & identity, and environments. The emerging themes triggered "ah-ha" moments for the attendees as they realized their customers were not always who they thought they were.
research field trip
Pairs of workshop attendees first came up with a set of research questions they wanted to investigate during field visits. Once we reviewed each set of questions, the teams spent several hours visiting local small business owners to make observations and ask questions.
We ended the workshop with an open discussion. The attendees focused on further refining the insights they discovered through the affinity diagram exercise, and discussed ways to carry the insights into their daily work. They also spent time talking about how each of their functions interacted with the customers in different ways, and how they could provide more impactful feedback to each other.
Managers for sales, account management, engineering, and product management who attended the workshop were so deeply impacted by the empathy they gained for our customers and each other that they requested workshops for their teams. We led several more workshops with a variety of teams across the company.