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Modern Research is Product Management

Karen Kranack and Scott McDonald, co-founders of Modern Accelerator, discuss how product teams can use agile research to drive product evolution and stay closer to their customers, plus how researchers can embrace this new approach. 

Organizations today must learn faster and move faster to keep up with the pace of change. Nowhere is the need for speed felt more acutely than in the product management discipline. The success of product teams relies on how fast can they get the insights they need to make a decision and move onto the next milestone. New agile research methodologies are evolving to complement the speed with which these teams must move.

Karen and Scott co-founded the digital innovation consultancy Modern Accelerator to help brands to move faster, get closer to customers, and evolve with more confidence.

"I think the one thing that's consistent across organizations is that product teams are relying on themselves more, because they don't have time to wait," says Scott. At many organizations, this self-reliance has led to a democratization of certain types of research.

As new tools are added to the research kit, traditional methods remain valuable. "I would say there's a place for all kinds of research," Karen adds. "A company shouldn't throw out their traditional research department in favor of only product management research or product design research. It is a [research] ecosystem."

Learn more about how organizations of all sizes are embedding agile research in their workflows in this episode of This Is Product Management.

Here are the highlights: 

  • The difference in perspective between product teams and in-house research (3:20)
  • How researchers and product managers approach quality and speed (4:55)
  • The difference in how deadlines are perceived between these two groups (6:45)
  • Insight into the role of user research (10:44)
  • Increasing comfort with the kind of research product teams perform (16:00)
  • Common pitfalls when first performing research (22:00)

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