I was chatting with a good friend recently who said “Solution Anthropology sounds really cool, but is anyone actually doing it?” I can say with certainty that yes they are and I see the demand growing.
In recent weeks I have spent quite a bit of time with a number of different companies in the US and Europe talking about their product (especially software) development processes. As part of these discussions the topic of Solution Anthropology came up. These companies are already trying to do some work in that domain and are looking for more information. These companies are in a variety of sectors. The ones I have been talking with recently are in manufacturing, insurance, banking, and product development.
One of the companies trained about 35 people in Solution Anthropology a couple of months ago and they have a large waiting list of people who did not get into that training. They wanted to know if I could provide training for more of their people. Of course I said yes! (At this time I am one of the two companies I know of that offer training in Solution Anthropology. Our courses are consistent with each other so this client will be working with both of us to get everyone trained.) Much of the work will be using Solution Anthropology to examine their own company to see how they can provide a better work experience for their employees. This is especially important in areas where they are seeing high turnover.
An award winning mobile app design team at another company has asked me about Solution Anthropology training and follow up coaching because they think they can be even better. Their company is happy to do this because the quality of their apps has let them get a lot of customers from competitors in their market. Creating apps that delight the users is really important in markets where the products are very similar and there are a lot of choices for the consumer.
Another company is considering training 20 people in Europe because they see Solution Anthropology as a way to get better-described work packages for the implementation teams that are scattered around the world. The only thing delaying it is they want to hire locally, but the only companies offering training in Solution Anthropology at this time are in the US.
I also have been contacted by a couple of startups who are trying to apply Lean Startup principles. They see Solution Anthropology as the set of skills they can use to closely interact with their customers and quickly grow their business.
These are just a few recent examples. I have not yet found a company that told me Solution Anthropology was of no use to them. Most companies have people with a lot of the skill sets they need, but it had not occurred to anyone to blend those practices to focus on the user in their native environment.
I discovered on my trip that a lot of people have been downloading my pdf “Solution Anthropology Explained” and passing it around inside their companies. And I got some great feedback on it, so I know they actually read it!
If you have not read it yet, you can get it here SolutionAnthropologyExplained.pdf