Beginning With the End in Mind – Client & Stakeholder Interviews

The Lead to Project Plan Development

Project Planning starts with interviews of the client and other key stakeholders.

Here is a PDF of the Interview Guide – that you might use as is or after you adapt it:


You need to back out the information you need for Project Planning – to construct the information and data you need from the client and stakeholders from your initial interviews with them.

I learned from Joe Harless – back in the 1980s – to never push back when a client “thinks” they need training – versus some other intervention. He taught me and many others to let the analysis data chips fall where they may – and have the client learn from the analysis data – that training may be a part of the solution – or not.

That it would be the key solution – or an enabler for other solutions.

The analysis is key. That you’ve got to get into the Project Plan.

How you get it there is something you need to determine/discover in the Interviews with the Client (and less so with the other Stakeholders).

You need to Socratically ask the right questions about the performance situation and the enabling knowledge/skills so that the Client can determine that they (themselves) don’t have all of the answers – and that you’ll need to do that analysis – but do it in some QUICK analysis effort.

Did I write QUICK?

I mean PDQ.

Walk you self through this Guide – and determine what you might already know – and what you might wish to confirm – or what you wouldn’t confirm – because that might make you look lame (or some other descriptor).

Success? Who and how will that be measured?

What doesn the Client expect as the deliverable or deliverables?

Whether that is what you actually produce is another thing – but the plan better start with when and how you would produce that if that is the path dictated by the analysis data.

How will you go about this.

Be prepared to suggest an approach and determine the feasibility/tolerance to go that route.

Who should be involved to generate data and review data?

After meeting with the Client and other key Stakeholders – as appropriate to your situation – who will you involve on the “supply-side” – from the ISD side of the partnership.

What are the probable costs – if you need to know that and get funding from someone – customer-side or supply-side of the partnership.

As needed/appropriate.

All costs. Depending on what you need to project/estimate/plan for – in your situation.

If you structured your data gathering based on what you need for your Project Plan – which is almost always situational – what’s required in your context – you should be ready to create a DRAFT Project Plan.

A DRAFT for reviewing and tweaking by the Client – and possibly the other Stakeholders.

These two books lay out all of the potential tasks in CAD and MCD efforts – following my methods.

But please note – they are almost always adapted in some way – large or small.

Go for Performance Impact!

You should look at or create your Project Plan template.

Then “back out” all the data/info one would need to get it.

Then create your customized interview guide – reflecting your “end in mind” – the Project Plan unique to your situation.

Or something like that.

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