This post describes how to prepare the ideal interview environment for an ITSM Maturity Assessment. It includes reminders on what's necessary to make the interview as successful as possible.
Maturity assessment is more than just a series of interviews, of course, and you can read about the wider context in the Visual Guide to ITSM Maturity Assessment.
In this series on interviewing we’ll cover:
Let’s get into it!
I hope you like the picture at the top of this page. Believe it or not, it isn't absolutely necessary to have an inspiring view of distant mountains when conducting an ITSM maturity assessment interview. Which is handy, if you happen to be in Lincolnshire or Florida.
What is vital, though, is that the interview environment is reasonably private so that the interviewee can speak openly (we have covered the subject of respondent anonymity in other posts). Once the environment is right, everything else goes more smoothly.
This is what you need to do to get the interview environment just right:
- Don't carry out the assessment interview in an open office. Make the interviewee confident that privacy is assured. 'Job shadowing' and informal conversations related to the assessment can of course take place in open offices, but don't discuss specific contentious issues outside of the formal interview
- The interview room should be soundproof if possible, again so that conversation can flow freely. Other common sense environmental factors (light, temperature) should be considered
- Ensure that power sockets and a network connection are available for your lap top and that of your co-interviewer if there is one
- Interviews can last up to two hours, depending on what is being assessed. Ensure your interviewee is comfortable, allow for quick and disciplined breaks if necessary
- Ensure that you have to hand hard or soft copies of any documentation you want or need to discuss (such as reports or a formal process description)
- Make sure that your access to software (such as an ITSM tool) is arranged and tested before the interview
- You may not know before an interview that you'll need to access ITSM software. Sometimes an interesting and relevant point will come up that can be dealt with right away as long as there is access to the right tool
Zeno: Powerful process improvement made simple
Although these suggestions are mostly basic common sense, I have seen interviews go less smoothly than they should for simple, avoidable reasons. The most common problem is that no room has been booked, or an unsuitable room has been booked. It's possible to conduct interviews in break-out spaces or staff rest areas, but they don't provide the ideal interview environment.
That kind of unpreparedness worries me when it happens in client organisations: it sends a signal that the assessment and improvement efforts aren't really important enough to make professional arrangements.
Please let me know in the comments or on LinkedIn if I've forgotten anything or you have suggestions.
Dan is the co-founder of Zeno. He likes finding new ways to improve processes and working life in general.
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