Quick read: How to influence decisions using research "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs 7 December 2021 True Influence, Premium Content, Research, stakeholders, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 500 Product Management 2

Quick read: How to influence decisions using research


For our products to be successful it’s vital that we get everyone on board and pulling in the right direction — this (as you probably know all too well) requires a whole lot of influence. In this quick read, we’ll share tips to help you influence like a pro and all of these tips focus on research.

Our tips come from Product pros, Cindy Alvarez, Director of Customer Research at GitHub, and Steve Portigal, author and User Research Consultant, and Michelle Lotia, Head of User Research at Trainline. They all recommend doing research so that you can deliver findings and sway minds in order to make things happen.

In an MTP member panel discussion, they share their advice on influencing decisions using research and because we know you’re busy people, we’ve plucked those pieces of advice from the talk and put them here 👇. It will take you 5 minutes to read and absorb these gems and, if you have time to watch the session in full, you can. We’ll link it at the end.

First, the tips.

1. Understand what matters to others

To begin, it’s important to get an understanding of what projects your colleagues are dealing with right now. In doing this, you’ll be better placed to drive their outcomes with research, collaboration, and discovery, and to ultimately help them reach their end solution.

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Take time to learn about what your colleagues are juggling right now

2. Communicate with all stakeholders

Every single key decision-maker is different. For this reason, you need to be sure to have a conversation with every new stakeholder. Find out what their angle is and how they work. This will make influencing that much easier.

A team working together at a long table
Speak to all of your stakeholders, regularly

3. Be sure to check in regularly

With big research projects, you need to have regular check-ins with all of those involved. This will help you to avoid the risk of research being seen as an unimportant task.

A female talking to people on a remote call
Check in with team members often

4. Provide easily accessible updates

You can use social messaging tools like Slack to quickly inform people of updates and to pull other colleagues into the fold. Be sure to give the headlines about what you’re learning, not just what you’re doing.

People typing on mobile phones and tablets
Send regular updates to keep everyone informed

5. Use storytelling to get people engaged

How you share your research findings is key — using storytelling will humanise your data and reduce the likelihood of colleagues being distanced from the findings. Storytelling is an effective way to influence others and connect with the whole team. For advice on storytelling, watch this quick session — Hooked! Connect, engage and inspire with storytelling by Yamini Naidu

female presenting to a team
Use storytelling to present your findings and keep everyone engaged

Watch Using discovery and research to influence key product decisions for even more insights.