In this project management tutorial Angela shares her perspective on what probing questions to use for the scenarios and why.
(music) - For challenge three, you were asked to identify deep, probing questions to get at the details regarding the automation of some work for the audit operations team. When you asked the operations manager, What teams or areas are dependent on your team? the operations manager answered, Well, there are many teams that are dependent on our work. It depends on what exception occurred in the audit, and what team has the skills and resources to handle it.
Here are the probing questions that I came up with. What are the most common exceptions, and how often do they occur? What rules are used to determine who the exception goes to? What steps are followed to communicate and hand off the exception? So, how did you do? Did you come up with similar questions? Remember that the answers will vary. It's the essence and concepts and themes of the dialogue that are the most important.
What's important about this interaction is not to get caught up in the technical design of how things currently happen or should happen in the future, but to focus on the process, data, people, and rules that are involved regardless of the technology at this point. If we are the interviewee, getting to details of the system, we can easily miss what's really needed. For example, when you ask What steps are followed to communicate and hand off the exception, and the interviewee answers, I go into the system and send an e-mail, you'll need to follow up with a more probing question to clarify why and what is being communicated.
By asking something like, So, how do you determine who to send the e-mail to? And what do you include in the e-mail? Your focus when probing is to listen actively and to dig in and then summarize in terms of who, what, when and why. Who do you send the e-mail to? What's in the e-mail? When is it sent and why is it sent? Make sure to dig into these areas rather than the screen and technology details.
These probing details are where all of the miss requirements are hidden. I hope this example has helped you with the focus of your interviews. Keep practicing your probing questions, and you will see amazing results.
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- Choosing to use interviews
- Selecting the right person to interview
- Planning interview questions
- Building rapport in an interview
- Choosing probing questions
- Listening and taking notes
- Analyzing and reviewing notes before following up