I’m currently assisting a client with their stakeholder interviews to ascertain their intranet needs.

Whenever I conduct a stakeholder interview, it’s not just a set of questions that I prepare in advance. Based on prior experiences, I thought I’d share my thoughts on what other factors I take into consideration.

Who should you select to conduct your interviews? If possible I find it’s always a good idea to select a third party. This has two real benefits for the quality of information that you are capturing. First it helps to remove bias from the interviewer as they should be objective and have no political agenda. Second the interviewee is more likely to be open with their answers and help point out the real issues.

Before you start any interview, explain to your interviewee the purpose behind the exercise. Explaining how the collected information will be used helps to put staff at ease.

NEVER discuss functionality. This will only stray from the key objective of the exercise, understanding what staff need to perform their job roles more effectively. Functionality should only be considered once you fully understand what the requirements of your staff are.

Don’t worry if you can’t get through all your questions. The number of questions you ask is irrelevant, the quality of the information that you collect is.

Now my final point may seem obvious but it’s something that’s often overlooked. Don’t schedule back to back interviews. Give yourself time to read back through your notes, ensure they are legible and that they make sense to you.

If you keep all these factors in mind, I’m sure your interviews will capture all the information you require. You can then convert this knowledge into tangible requirements for your corporate intranet.

If you want more information on how you can use Stakeholder Interviews within your intranet project download our Stakeholder Interview learning guide.