Phase Zero


Schedule Interviews

In order to get through the interviews as quickly as possible the interviews need to be scheduled. In addition, a covering letter or email indicating the reason for the interview and the areas to be covered will start the thought process with the interviewees.
  • Stakeholder Analysis
    1. Prepare the text for the letter or email
    2. Make the appointment
    3. Send out the letter or email
    4. Confirm the appointment the day before the interview
  • Letter or email to all interviewees
  • Scheduled interviewees

It is likely that some interviewees will be senior managers who will be hard to schedule. This activity needs to be undertaken early to ensure obtaining an interview slot does not hold up the whole project.

At what level to star is a difficult question.

  • If you start with minor players, you may end up with a totally skewed view of the project. They might not see the bigger picture and consequently give a very personal view of the project.
  • If you start with major players, you may later find that what they view the project as being, is out of touch with what is happening at the grass roots level. For example, they may see the project as primarily about reducing staff numbers. The reality may be that with current staff numbers, the required work cannot be completed.

Probably the best compromise is to schedule, as far as possible, a mix of senior and junior people so that the picture emerges from both ends. It is often useful to leave the most senior person until last. At that point, you will have a far better understanding of the environment and can use the interview to resolve inconsistencies or gaps that may have become evident.

In terms of the number of people to interview, there is no hard and fast rule. Ask yourself, "is this person a significant stakeholder or contributor to the project?"

Another way to approach the situation is to interview a number of people at one time. If there are a number of people who will be similarly impacted, they can be interviewed as a group. For example, if there is an impact on sales teams, and there are two teams, the team leaders can be interviewed together.

Interviewing groups can be dangerous and does need to be managed. You may find there is one dominant person and others do not get a chance to say anything. This is particularly true if you have a more senior person in the group who thinks they speak on behalf of the rest. People also tend to be more open in a one on one situation than in a group.

If you do interview a group, ensure everyone has an opportunity to have a say. There are techniques for managing a group which are worth exploring. Facilitation is a valuable tool when managed by the right person.

With anyone you feel may be holding something back, touch base after the meeting and ask if there is anything else they might want to add. In fact, always ensure the Interviewee is clear that they can provide information after the interview if something comes to mind. Often, a thought after an interview has taken place, can uncover a significant impact or issue.

Interview Confirmation Letter or email text to confirm the interview.

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