Jinfo BlogJinfo for optimising your research service

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By Robin Neidorf

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Here's how we recently answered a customer query into how best to organise your information services team to achieve better proactive planning and continuous improvement.


Just as I was about to start working on this item, we received a query from a customer:

"I was wondering if you have any benchmarking surveys on how research teams are structured, divide workload, or organise research workflows."

This subject is at the heart the work we're doing on "Benchmark information roles - optimise your structure", and relates to the consulting work we do with a wide range of our customers. 

Jinfo has a maturity model for research services, which documents the stages of maturity for a service along several variables including:

  • Specialisation by industry/domain
  • Specialisation by geography
  • Capacity management
  • Proactive planning
  • Process and workflow.

Of course, how you review and apply these variables depends on the size of the research team, the size and scope of the organisation and whether the team itself is based on a centralised, regional, distributed or embedded model. Several of the articles and reports listed below demonstrate approaches to take, based on real experiences of Jinfo customers.

The most consistent success factor, regardless of size or scope of your research service, is to have a strong foundation in systems and processes. Even an individual will deliver a better result more efficiently by using standard processes to run the workflow than by taking the "artisan" approach of crafting their projects on a bespoke basis.

Three-layer approach

A three-layer approach enables you to create the right structure and work towards continuous improvement:

  • Top layer: direction
    Start from setting strategic direction: the head of the service articulates the value of research services, to the team and to the larger organisation: "Here is how we drive towards the objectives of the business". From that direction, you can prioritise relationships with customers and stakeholders, which services to provide and what your standard service level agreements (SLA) need to be.

  • Middle layer: management
    A middle layer provides management insights, to review and report on the effectiveness and quality of processes and recommend adjustments to better achieve the strategic goals.

  • Bottom layer: legwork
    Then, the processes are designed and tweaked to deliver on that vision. 

Jinfo Consulting can help review where your research service currently sits on our maturity model. Contact me (robin.neidorf@jinfo.com) for further information, or complete our online form.

Recent Subscription content of particular interest to our customers involved with optimising teams of researchers:



Webinars - recordings available to view for anyone with a Jinfo Subscription 



The Research Focus, "Benchmark information roles - optimise your structure" runs from July - September 2017 and encompasses three months of research, reports, webinars and Community sessions based on our benchmarking research and studies of how these insights play out in the real world of today's organisations. Leverage our research to better identify the opportunities you have to streamline, improve and increase the visibility of high-quality research expertise and services.


Community sessions:

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