4 – Ethnographic research, stakeholder personas and journey mapping

Today we looked a little more closely at the idea of ethnographic research, I don’t mind admitting that this is the first time I have heard this term, despite probably having had been doing it for many years now. It’s a term often associated with anthropology to look at cultural phenomenon.

Some tips and techniques for conducting this research were outlined and resonated with me including to go in with a beginner’s mind / child’s mind (something that I also learned while taking an 8-week course in meditation) as well as to go in without judgement, find patterns, really listen, and to be genuinely curios and always ask ‘Why?’. This reminded me of a time I won an Australian Institute of Management (AIM) competition by answering in 25 words the most important feature of a good manager with words to the effect of: “Constantly strive for continuous improvement by always asking ‘Why?’.

Looking at things with curiosity has always been one of my strengths and passions, I think not only is it one of the things that truly makes life worth living as well as an important skill to apply when attempting to make meaningful change in the workplace.

The exercise we did in class was to come up with some user personas and create a journey map, focussing on the users experience, their pain points and high points. The work we did is available here.

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