I am now going to analyse my client’s current system in order to get a better understanding of what is going on. And then I am going to carry out different investigation techniques to see the best way of finding the problems in his system. For each method I will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the system. I hope to pick various methods.
Firstly, I might interview them all one by one in three one on one session.
This has a few advantages, which are:
* I will be able to find any problems that each one of them faces,
* They won’t hinder in what they say, their colleagues won’t affect them. This is because their colleagues won’t be there; they won’t stop naming any problems for fear of hurting their friend’s feelings. This is possible because the interview will be a one-on-one.
* All the problems having been found, it will be possible to find a solution from my client’s point of view and from his assistants.
* They cannot argue their viewpoints.
* It is possible for them to get mixed up, and some of the problems may be misinterpreted.
* They might forget to mention some of the more basic problems, as they may be concentrating on the larger and (in their eyes) the more important problems.
I may also observe what they do in their workplace.
* I may be able to see any problems and will be able to judge how important they are.
* I can see how accurate my client’s and his assistants’/planners’ version of the problems were.
* I can tell how frequent the problems are and what the consequences are and how hostile the outcome is.
* My client and his assistant may change their style when they see that I am observing, and therefore reducing some of the problems.
* Some of the problems may come far and few but may be very annoying and bad for business when they do take place.
* This might be very time consuming.
I might also give them a questionnaire.
* You can get exact answers with closed questions.
* If you want an explanation or an extended answer, you can ask an open question.
* If it is a private questionnaire, then they may not lie to protect their colleagues’ feeling.
* They might not want to upset their colleagues and may end up giving dishonest answers if the questionnaire is done in public.
* They might not give an honest answer, as they may be ashamed by some of the things they do.
* They may misinterpret the question.
* They might think that the questionnaire is a waste of time and may rush through it giving incorrect and random answers.
To find any more problems I will ask them all to take part in a group discussion.
* Everybody knows what is being said, and can counter anything that might be said about him or her.
* They can order the problems with the ones that affect them the most at the top. They can also highlight the main problems and why that is so.
* Everyone can give his or her opinion without fear of reprimand.
* They might not say anything bad about their colleagues in case they upset them and therefore they are not wholly truthful.
* Also, this might lead them to hanging back a bit, as they might be shy or ashamed about something.
* They may change the style of their answers, therefore leading me off the right track and making me blind to some of the major problems.
I might also use any existing documents, like the forms, to find out any more problems.
* I will be able to see any problems straight off.
* They can’t be edited, so they might not try to lie to protect their colleagues’ feelings.
* The form I choose might not have any problems.
* I might not be able to spot frequent problems, as that document might not contain any.
Overall, I have decided that I am going to choose two of the above-mentioned investigation techniques. I am going to ask them all to take part in one-on-one interview, will ask them to participate in a questionnaire. This is because I will be able to figure out any problems as I will be using a range of techniques, and can find out how severe they are. I hope that no problems escape my eye.
I chose these and decided not to observe their workplace and not to take part in a group discussion because I do not think that these are reliable enough. With the interview, I will be able to find most problems without them having the fear that they are going to upset their colleagues’ while with a group discussion this fear would be instilled in them. In addition, if I observed their workplace, they might change their answers and lead me off the main problems.