Real People Doing Real Work

From Real People Doing Real Work:

For eight months, we followed the progress of a group of twelve people in a Fortune 500 company here in the Pacific Northwest who used Office 2007 to perform their daily work. These people graciously agreed to install Office 2007 Beta 1 on their main work computers and to let us track their feedback and thoughts over a long period of time using the software. The participants in the study were not software engineers or in any way associated with high-tech; they were just normal people who use Office to help get their jobs done.

Yes, the sample size for this specific study was small. And yes, the study only included people in one company in the Pacific Northwest. It is true that for these reasons the results of this study aren't statistically significant.

But the purpose of this study wasn't to provide quantitative results. Rather, the goal was to employ ethnographic research strategies to allow us to understand qualitatively how the new Office 2007 user interface fit into daily work lives of typical Office customers.

Marketers and developers are usually anxious to do quantitative research but you don't know what you don't know. Before you can do quantitative, you must do qualitative.

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.


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