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Mike Cunningham
Mike Cunningham

Asking the Right questions-Process Discovery

If you are an internal Business Analyst or consultant asking the right questions in a Discovery project is a critical skill. While it seems that a 10 or 20 year veteran seemingly gets those answers by some magical power, it’s really not that complicated. The experienced Business Analyst or Project Manager has been there many times before and knows how to build an good set of probing questions that will bring out the details.
For process discovery, you may already be a subject matter expert on the project, but often that’s not the case. In these situations creating a shopping list of items that will guide you to ask the right questions is very important. This list includes:
  • Identification of roles of those involved
  • Responsibilities for actions/tasks and decisions in the process
  • Outcomes and results from the processes in hand
  • Known problems with existing processes
  • Goals from management required from the Discovery project
  • The expertise level of the intended audience
  • Access to quality standards for the existing process
  • Clear separation of “current state” from “future state” questions
  • Identification of resources, guidelines and instruction locations and usage

This list can go on, but you get the idea. Unless you identify, who, what, how and when before you start the interview or information gathering process, you many need to re-interview staff because of your unpreparedness. Not a good idea. Plan your questions carefully, particularly when it comes to the interview stage of your Process Discovery project.

Original posted at Michael Cunningham's BPM Blog

This entry was published on Feb 14, 2011 / Mike Cunningham. Posted in Business Process Management (BPM) . Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
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