Observation

  • Purpose
    • Evaluation of the work environment of the stakeholder, to document the details of the current processes to improve or change the current process
  • Description
    • Studying people in carrying out its functions (job shadowing / following people around)
    • Assist the execution of the work for understanding of its flow
    • Approaches
      • Passive / invisible – no questioning, just log
      • Active / visible – Interact with the user, questioning the reason for the execution of some action
    • Can participate in the actual work for practical experience
    • It can become a temporary apprentice
    • Assist demonstration of the process or task-specific executed
  • Elements
    1. Prepare for the observation
      • Determine sampling of users will be observed and what activities and questions to ask
    2. Observe
      • Present to the observed
      • Ensure to the observed that there is no question about his work, only observation to study
      • Explain that there may be disruption to questions
      • Suggest “thinking aloud” while working
      • Observe the work, take notes necessary with or without questions
    3. Point Observation Wrap-Up – Documentation and Confirmation
      • Get answers to the original or new
      • Summarize the notes for revision and clarification
      • Many users:  compile notes (common points)
  • Usage Considerations
    1. Advantages
      • Practical and realistic vision of the business (“hands on”)
      • Details of the informal communication and form of the current work
    2. Disadvantages
      • Only for existing processes
      • Can consume a lot of time
      • Can disrupt the observed
      • Unusual circumstances or exceptions may not occur during the observation
      • It may not work when the current process is too complex or involve other difficult work to observe
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