Methodology

Methodology

We create research-based guidance for a pragmatic and seasoned audience that is good at detecting fluff. As a result, we maintain independence as a research firm to avoid conflict of interest. We don’t have a hidden agenda. Our goal is simply to identify what makes top performers different, and help everyone in the IT industry achieve success with their own technology initiatives.

Over the years, we have refined our outcomes-oriented research methodology to meet the needs of demanding IT decision makers.  We help answer questions that are top of mind for those responsible for guiding IT organizations like: Where should we focus resources? What can we do to achieve better results?  What measurable improvements can we expect if we make specific changes?

Our research approach includes a series of steps that have been fine tuned over time:

  • Pick a topic – We start with an interesting research question. We like to start with big question, in order to reveal answers that aren’t obvious, but that have a big impact if for those that get it right.
  • Ask what works – We conduct interviews to ask open ended questions about what leading firms did that caused performance breakthrough, and how they measured resulting improvements.  Often we conduct 10 to 15 interviews until pattern of common answers is revealed.
  • Develop a hypothesis – We work interview findings into a set of concrete hypothesis about what we think drives results.  Hypothesis is the cornerstone of good research and is often missing from industry surveys.
  • Survey design – We design our surveys and data collection to test specific hypothesis.
  • Analyze data – Statistical techniques are carefully applied to test hypothesis and identify factors that correlate with higher performance.
  • Top performer differentials – We use market research techniques to segment population into top, medium and low performers, and reveal various factors that are linked to better outcomes.

Knowing that correlation does not equal causation, we combine what learn from both interviews and data analysis to reveal key findings. We also strive to make our findings consumable, interesting, and inspiring in order to help foster performance breakthrough and sustainable change.

We also use key findings and extensive data sets to create benchmarking tools. The tools focus attention on the key practices that drive top levels of performance.  Benchmark tools allow IT organizations keen on improving performance to compare both their current practices and performance to the top, medium and low performers in the study population.  Customized benchmark reports highlight specific steps and potential performance improvement that would result from taking those steps.

At end of day, we are driven by curiosity.  We have strong need to figure out what works. And desire to help people make data-drive decisions and guide sustainable change for their organization.