Commissioning research is a big deal. It’s an incredibly important and valuable step in the process of launching a residential project. It typically isn’t cheap and often is commissioned before any sales have been made, so it’s a serious overhead and an important investment.
So why do we constantly come across developers and staff within project teams (including development managers, marketing managers and sales managers) not taking the time to read it, or understand it?
More often that not, the only person that reads the research is the individual that commissioned it originally, but those learnings are not being shared with the entire team, leading to massive loss in productivity and performance.
Depending on who within the project team commissioned the research and what stage of the project life cycle it was completed seems to have a direct impact on who actually absorbs the research.
From our experience working with numerous developers over the years, here are the major reasons why people don’t read the research.
1. They don’t know the research exists
2. They don’t have time to read it
3. It’s only available online (many people prefer reading soft copy)
4. They don’t trust it
5. They don’t think it’s important to their job function
Ultimately, people aren’t reading the research as it’s not mandatory and therefore doesn’t make it onto their to do list.
We started spending more time thinking about this and really what it comes down to is that they are not treating the project like their own, they aren’t paying for the research themselves…so there is really no drive to seek it out or read it. Now….. we don’t expect everyone to treat their work like their business, so there needs to be steps taken internally to ensure the appropriate knowledge transfer occurs.
This conundrum has really perplexed me and it’s one of the reasons why we developed REXI so that we could deliver research that is authentic and easy to comprehend.
However here are a few initiatives you could put into place within your business:
· Prior to commissioning research, the entire project team is to agree on the brief (development, sales and marketing)
· Mandatory reading of research prior to starting on project (perhaps a checklist)
· Internal debrief of research after completion with each person bringing their own personal summary and out-takes from the research (every discipline will discover their own findings)
The purpose of this article is to remind project teams how important the research is to your project success and to make managers aware that steps need to be taken to ensure that knowledge transfer occurs.