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Observation/conversation in Project Management | T&T

Observation/conversation

Observation and conversation is one of the interpersonal and team skills that provides a direct way of viewing individuals in their environment and the way they perform their jobs or tasks and carry out processes. It is particularly helpful in complex /detailed processes where the end users who use the product have difficulty, or, are reluctant to articulate their experience / requirements. Observation is also known as “job shadowing.” It is usually done externally by an observer who views a business expert performing a job. It can also be done by a “participant observer” who performs a process or procedure to experience how it is done to understand/uncover hidden requirements.

Where applied?

Within the PMBOK® Guide, Observation/conversation technique is  used in the following processes:

PROCESSES

KNOWLEDGE AREA

PROCESS GROUPS

Collect Requirements

Project scope Management

Planning

Monitor Communications

Project Communications Management

Monitoring

Manage Stakeholder Engagement

Project Stakeholder Engagement

Executing

Collect Requirements

Observation and conversation can be extensively used in this process to get a real time experience of the users and where the users find the product/application difficult, and  the pain points can be identified and resolved through improvements.                                          To capture the user experience systematically, software development organizations use usability laboratories.  Depending on the kind of system that is evaluated, the user sits in front of a personal computer or stands in front of the systems interface, alongside a facilitator who gives the user tasks to perform. Behind a one-way mirror, a number of observers watch the interaction, make notes, and ensure that the activity is recorded. Very often the testing and the observing room are not placed alongside. In this case the video and audio observation are transmitted through a (wireless) network and broadcast via a video monitor or video beamer and loudspeakers. Usually, sessions will be filmed and the software will log interaction details. This forms the basis for collection, refinement of product requirements from usability/adoption perspective.

Manage Stakeholder Engagement

Observation/conversation is used to stay in touch with the work and attitudes of the project team members and other stakeholders.

Monitor Communications

Discussion and dialogue with the project team helps determine the most appropriate way to update and communicate project performance, and to respond to requests from stakeholders for information. Observation and conversation enables the project manager to identify issues within the team, conflicts between people and/or individual performance issues.

Refer link :

http://project-management.wikia.com/wiki/Observation_and_conversation

References:

PMBOK® GUIDE SIXTH EDITION

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