Monday, August 20, 2012

Problem with Surveys and Focus Groups

Surveys and focus groups are known to be used by organisations to collect feedback or requirements from groups of people, which will be across certain demographics to determine the project requirements or measure their outcomes. There is one problem though. It's not accurate.

When people are put in a room, and told to give feedback on a certain project or issue, it really depends if the people are truthful and are giving the feedback without duress. Research has been done over the years and it does show that people do lie during surveys for various reasons like boasting of one's credentials, or to influence the way that they are being perceived. Personally, I believe this extends to focus groups.

Instead of doing surveys and focus groups, and the intention is to get accurate feedback, the only way I believe is to "shadow" the people that you hope to get the feedback from. Since they are occupied by their day to day operations, then that's the best time for you to observe them and relate it back to your project.

Tedious? yes. Productive? no. Accurate? Definitely.

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