Project Everest

Adopted Experiment

[Experiment Adopted]: Fuel Fiji - Case Studies - July 2018

Summary: Fuel teams need more feedback on current and past models of Buka stoves in order to determine which direction to take the stove into in the future. This feedback will be gathered starting August and continuing through to December via two separate case studies on one individual who owns a buka 3 and one who owns a buka 5.

Something that Fuel in Fiji has been lacking, is solid feedback on the Buka stove. Most interactions this far have been around qualitative data and even then collected very informally with very little structure. To address this issue a case study has been developed.

It begins in early August and results will be collected by the December team.  

Two studies are running; one on the newly constructed 5.0 prototype and one on an older 3.0 version.  The version of stove is the only variable change across the two studies to make the studies as comparable as possible, and therefore, more useful.  The main goal of the study is to get more quantifiable data on aspects of the stove which cannot be obtained purely from conversations had with customers a couple of times a year.

This feeds into the lean canvas through gaining feedback on the Solution and also better developing our Unique Value Proposition, validating our assumptions as to why customers continue to use our product and how it brings them value.


Green Light: Success in the context of this experiment can appear differently depending on the perspective. In terms of our ability to build relationships and motivate stakeholders to carry out case studies for 4 months, if both case studies were filled out completely when we return in December, that would be a major success. The results of these case studies are difficult to predict and therefore specific intentions to get from the customers are difficult to pinpoint. Rather than focus on specifics, I feel it is important to gain a holistic understanding of how our product is being used by customers over an extended period of time. Specific to the 5.0 is how that compares to the 3.0 and the opinions and emotions of Mere who is making the shift to the new prototype.

Red/Orange Light: At this stage, the only real failure method would be if we return in December to incomplete or close to zero feedback from the case studies. This is difficult to mitigate without a presence in country. Should this occur, understanding the reasons why and then looking at other ways to gain long term feedback would be suggested.

The two participants is the current case studies are:

Mere: Mere is well known amongst past and present Fuel teams.  She is a neighbour to The Loft, one of the Project houses. She has already taken part in a previous case study for the Buka 4.0, so she is well aware of the project. Mere will be carrying out the case study on the first Buka 5.0 stove made.  The incentive in participating in the case study is that she will be allowed to keep this stove and will also receive a $20 bonus in December, should the data logging be completed properly.


La: The owner of La’s Handcrafts in Sigatoka, across the road from Tapoos. She recently bought a Buka 3.0 stove and will be conducting the case study in relation to that. She was extremely keen on giving feedback on the stove, before it was mentioned we were planning on conducting some case studies between now and December. The incentive for La is that she will receive an initial $10 back from her purchase and then in December she will receive an additional $20 provided the log book has been filled in properly.

The participants of the case study are provided with a booklet which they will fill out as they use the stove.  It was ensured that the participants have high literacy capabilities and fully understand what is expected of them, prior to beginning the case study.

The booklet begins with three pages, each dedicated to one of the following; aspects of the stove they like, aspects of the stove they dislike and finally any improvements or changes they would like to see made to the stoves.  The point of these three pages is that they can add to them whenever they think of an idea over the duration of the study. Following these pages are the data log entry forms. One page is to be used per use of the stove, and a picture of what these pages look like is attached.  Also included, is a sample entry, giving an example of what kind of answers are being looked for.  When developing these log entries is was very important to try not make them time-consuming or too complicated as that could deter participants from completing it properly, but to still ask all questions that could add precise, quantifiable data, to help in the development of the stoves.


The key data to be collected includes:

- How many times the stoves were used.

- Use of stove as wet season approaches.

- How the components of the stove deteriorated over time, eg. The legs, handles and         paint.

- Accurate cooking times for various meals. 

- How many people were cooked for.


This data, collected consistently over a four-month period, will be invaluable in developing the stoves to meet the customer requirements and ensure they provide the best service possible.  As well as that, this case study can serve as a template to be built upon for future studies, and also as a learning process on how to effectively conduct case studies with the stoves and what approaches work better than others.

Additionally , there were some lessons learned whilst empathising and asking for feedback this month that future Fuel team members should be aware of:

Firstly, it was hard at times to make the interactions conversation-like, as opposed to an interview situation, as once this happened the villages were more likely to give one-word responses, often being a “yes”, as they thought it was what you wanted to hear.

Secondly, the phrasing of the questions became extremely important, ensuring that any question asked was clear but in no way leading towards a particular response, as that almost always ended up with that particular response.

Thirdly, the data available was limited by this method, finding out their opinions of the handles or legs etc. was fine, but finding out how long it took for the paint to wear off or for the legs to become loose or how many times exactly the stove was used between then and now, were not obtainable.

The implementation of multiple case studies, on different iterations of Buka stoves, allows for more specific data to be collected and gives the possibility to compare the stoves in more detail and with more information than previously available.

edited on 6th September 2018, 00:09 by Justin Hakeem

Alexander Teicher Jul 30, 2018

The booklet given to the two participants.

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Andrew Vild Aug 9, 2018

Status label added: Work Update

Is this intended to be an experiment? If so, edit it as such (including the title) and layout the basic purpose of the post/experiment in the first paragraph.

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Justin Hakeem Aug 16, 2018

Status label added: Experiment adopted

Status label removed: Work Update

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Lee Vargas 1 month ago

Some information identified with some workforce chamber is on the site yet it is difficult to tell the subtleties as it isn't illustrative in nature. Some decent variety report for understudies has been submitted by certain sources. Someone should share some data about it.

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