I just finished a nice and amazing road trip to SPTechCon Boston 2014 and then to SharePoint Saturday Charlotte. In both place I met some amazing people and participated in some great conversations. Well you know what that all leads to when it comes to me… Yes more blog articles!! During one of my sessions in Charlotte I was asked if I could provide some of my basic questions that I provide my clients for discovery sessions. I actually had to think about it and was shocked that I had never shared them so here you go with some explanation of how and why.

So it turns out its easier to get project managers, stakeholders and other team members into doing discovery sessions that it is the end users you know the one actually doing the day to day activities you need to capture. They get a little freaked out because they don’t know what is going to be asked of them and they don’t like to be caught off guard. They go into that “I’m here to just to my job and go home” mentality. Well that doesn’t help us out very much so we have to make them feel comfortable about what we need them to do.

By providing a list of questions that ask very general questions about their day to day activities like where do you store your documents?, how do you search for them?, etc. etc. etc. Just make them feel comfy we all like comfy. Also, we’re not asking them to actually answer these questions prior to the discovery session. We’re just providing them “example” questions so they know what to expect. However, you will be shocked what turns up in the discovery sessionsJ. As the users start going down the list of questions they get a little more detailed about their day today but their so into it now that they are not even bothered by it. So structure of the questions on the list is just as important of the questions themselves.

Questionnaire contains information for 3 levels of individuals.  First level is for the either the project manager or a stake holder involved in the project as the questions are around the company itself and not so much around the technology.  Second we have the technical team that we need some knee deep information from so we know what we have per say “Under The Hood” and then last but of course not least as they are the most important the Associates\End Users.  I’m not saying by any means that you should use all of these questions these are just some of the most common ones I have provided a head of time to help the individuals “prepare” for the discovery sessions.  I have to say I get totally geeked with the ones that walked in with them all filled out. 🙂

Basic Questionnaire: Basic Questionnaire