Digging deeper with the user

“A user will tell you anything you ask, but nothing more.” – unknown

The quote above from a very smart unknown person is so very true.

The key to finding out the real story is look for more than what they tell you in the first place. Consider yourself an investigator, you need to look for more than what’s on the surface.  A detective always uses more information and resources than just the statement of a witness to get to the bottom of a problem.

A few tips for getting to the bottom or the root cause of a problem:

  • Observe the customer performing the process or ask them to show you things
  • Find out all the down and upstream processing that impact or are impacted by the process in question, they could be the cause
  • Put yourself in their shoes, consider what you would need or do if you were them
  • Ask a series of questions to dig deeper to the real problems or goings on
  • Find out what success would look like to them, not what solution they think should be put in place
  • Ask questions of more than one person
  • Look at data or system processes also

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