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  Interview Stakeholders

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Interview Stakeholders (A SPRINT Phase II task)

Task Description

Interviews with stakeholders are the basis of much of the work that follows. The aim of the interviews is to uncover as much information about the existing business processes as possible and to identify those areas where more investigation is needed. It also offers stakeholders an early opportunity to discuss their own work area in some detail.

It is important to interview representatives of all stakeholder groups where possible, and to interview more than one member of each group where this is seen as feasible.

In certain cases you will want to interview process beneficiaries who are outside your organisation (e.g. clients.) Consider whether a more formal process (e.g. focus groups, questionairres) might be useful here.

Task Implementation

Because it can sometimes be difficult to arrange interviews it is important to be organised.

  1. Produce an interview schedule and keep this up-to-date with the contact details of the
  2. Have a clear idea of the topics that you are going to cover at the interview.
  3. Use a standard question list for each interviewer.

General guidelines for conducting interviews:

  1. Should take place in the interviewees workplace.
  2. Should be informal, but semi-structured, so that there is some commonality between different interviewers and different interviewees.
  3. Should not be time constrained (i.e. do not try and interview everyone according to a rigid timetable and try and arrange a time when the interviewee is not going to want to rush off)
  4. Always probe as deep as you need to - do not be afraid of going into detail. Where you don't understand what is being explained (the stakeholder may use jargon or assume you are au fait with the wider process) ask for clarification.
  5. Be prepared to follow up interview - e.g. by phone or email.
  6. Gather any relevant background documentation - e.g. procedures manuals, forms in use, job descriptions

A more detailed guide to conducting interviews has been put together, and can be found under guide to interviewing.


When you have completed an interview it is advisable to write up a summary depersonalising the account where possible. This summary can later be used as useful "evidence" in making the case for change.

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