It is usually best to have a mixture of semi-structured interviews and stakeholder workshops. A semi-structured interview is one where you ask open questions and then listen carefully to the answers. When I conduct an interview I include:
- About you (the interviewer), who you are and why you are here.
- What your objectives are, what you are looking to get from the interview.
- Whether the outputs are anonymous or not.
About the interviewee
- Their background.
- How long they have been in their current role.
- What they are looking to get from the interview.
- Any concerns they may have.
- Any questions they may have.
Open questions I ask include:
- Which reports, measures and dashboards are they regularly exposed to?
- What are their biggest worries about current reporting/dashboarding?
- What single thing do they think should be the priority to improve as regards measures and reports?
- How confident are they in the quality of the data in their organisation?
- What outputs would they like to see that are not currently produced?
..And some closed questions
- Have the company’s strategic objectives been communicated to them?
- Can they recall those objectives?
- Do they have any specific examples of measurement issues or things that need fixing urgently?
Take notes and make sure you summarise issues as you go so you can easily review your notes and develop a balanced overview.
These questions can be a bit aggressive if delivered poorly, so make sure you tread lightly in the interview and let things develop.