A ResearchOps Member Spotlight — Discovering the field, thinking of yourself as a researcher of researchers, and growing the ResearchOps role in Indonesia.
Our ResearchOps community is made up of members with diverse backgrounds, working on varied operations in their organizations, with dreams of advancing researchers’ craft even further. By spotlighting individual members, we grow awareness of common challenges and new strategies to think bigger about ResearchOps.
3 questions for Novania:
1. How did you get started in ResearchOps? What background do you bring to your current role?
It’s almost 5 years ago I decided to join Bukalapak as Research Operations, and what brings me here? It’s UX Research of course! In 2017, I looked for what kind of career I really wanted to pursue. After a year, I started my first job in customer relations, with a lot of exposure to users and products. At that time, I was still not sure about what exact role I wanted, but I was sure that I am interested in the customer experience and the product itself.
A long short journey, after exploring several roles from customer relations, business analysis and product, I discovered the UX Researcher role and decide to focus on this field. Around 5 years ago, I applied to Bukalapak as UX Researcher and got rejected. Then several months later, I got an offer for a UX Research Operations position with the job description “to help UX Research team and handle recruitment.”
I found myself suitable for the requirements and the role is close enough to the UX Research role that I wanted to learn and explore more. So I applied and got this role, and after a year of working as a part of the Research Ops team at Bukalapak, building everything from scratch, I found it really exciting, and I chose this path instead of switching to a UX Researcher Role.
2. Which aspects of ResearchOps have you focused on, and what advice do you have for people getting started on the same?
In the beginning, I did research on the research team before deciding which scope I wanted to take on when building research operations. We agreed to focus on 3 big scope areas, which are recruitment, documentation, and administration. Of course, each quarter the level of priority on each scope will be adjusted not only because we have to be flexible with company needs, but we also keep in mind that research ops itself is a holistic system: the 3 areas will affect each other, and we agree that we cannot address everything at once.
So if you want to start, think of yourself as a researcher too but with a different scope of product and target users. Your target user is the researcher and find “what hinders the UX Researcher from just focusing on research?” After you have insight and understanding, you can start with WHY, “Why is this important?” and “How might we help them?”
Remember to treat the whole process of work as an endless experiment, and choose your battlefields based on your capabilities and the severity of the problem itself.
3. What would you like to see as the next big thing for ResearchOps in your organization?
After almost 5 years of crafting in this field, I realized that some of the solutions, projects, or problems will not be relevant anymore. So what I want to see is the way of getting our company involved in research during their process for business decisions is not only complementary, but as a process that we need to keep connected to our users. If that happens, I trust that the ResearchOps team itself will be growing along with the research team.
In many companies in Indonesia, not many are familiar with this research ops position itself. But as the role of research within product organizations grows, I hope that more and more companies recognize this position and realize how important Research Ops is. Even with a different name, the work that includes administration, recruitment, and documentation will always be there, only with a different title and different recognition. So if you work with a similar scope as me, let’s keep growing and introduce this role more.
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