Lean Communities - Disrupting Another False Dichotomy - Insight Platforms

Lean Communities: Disrupting Another False Dichotomy

This article is part of the Communities Summit 2020 Series. Sign up for free to hear Isaac share his expertise in ‘Lean Doesn’t Have to be Mean: The Agility and Efficiency of an AI-Powered Lean Community

We live in a world that can often feel so binary. More and more it feels like we must choose side A or side B. And while that might sometimes be true, there are also times we forget there’s a third option.

In my daily interactions with clients, I often see the same situation unfold in research: it’s either a 3-day qualitative bulletin board or a 12-month panel with thousands of participants that’s priced slightly less than a 2-bedroom apartment in San Francisco.

I have a secret to share: there’s a third option.

They’re called Lean Communities, because they’re typically a little smaller and nimbler than a traditional community.

Did I mention the price tag is a lot smaller, too?



It’s now possible for everyone – from client teams to agencies to independent researchers – to get access to the same types of community research methods that have historically been out of reach.

In my session at the Communities Summit, I’ll show you how lean communities candeliver great value and impact without the high cost, resources and heavy lifting normally associated with communities.

Let me give you an example of how a Lean Community might work. This is how things might play out over the course of 60 or 90 days:

  • You recruit 75 participants to be a part of your community.
  • You begin by running an initial quick poll with all your participants to gather broad insights, followed by a second, more narrowed, poll.
  • From there, you gather the insights gained from the polls, and select 25 members to participate in a group discussion.
  • You invite another 25 members to complete a 5-day mobile ethnography.
  • You discover 4 of your members in the group discussion are giving you really good insights, and you’d love to go a little more in-depth with them, so you invite them to join you in a live recorded video chat.
  • Based on all of the insights gathered, you make some final changes to your concepts and do a last round of polling to gauge consensus.

You now have a much more meaningful and clearer story, and you did it all for the same cost as just a few standard discussion boards.

In my session, I’ll walk you through the key features of lean communities: what you can use them for (as well as what you shouldn’t); the key things to factor into your planning; and some techniques for getting the most from your community members.

Many organisations are adopting agile and lean startup methods, and community research has to meet these needs. Fortunately, we now have the tools to do so at a price point that makes sense.

I hope you’ll join me at the summit. You’ll get plenty of useful tips, and it may make you think differently about insight communities in the future.



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