April 24–30, 2017
We followed up a week of student interviews with a week of staff interviews. Switching gears to talking to people I know & usually work with was an interesting change in perspective.
We broke the staff interviews into two chunks — a set of contextual questions and a process map exercise.
The contextual questions were boring but necessary. We wanted to just get a feel for who the staff member was, how they viewed their jobs & to gain any insight possible.
The process map was incredibly interesting. First, we asked staff to identify 3–5 main tasks they perform to support students. Each task was written on a note card & then thoroughly discussed.
Next, we asked the staff member to pick out the one task that was the most important of the bunch. (Often, this was met with a long pause and a “that’s really hard!” and eventually an ~arbitrary selection. Which was ok.) Once the primary task was selected, we then had the staff member draw us a map, demonstrating how they complete the task.
It was fascinating to see all the different responses and interpretations of this exercise. But the end solution was the same. Drawing this map required the staff member to talk us through the steps, identify the pain points & connect dots previously disassociated.
This week is storytelling & synthesis! Time to make sense of this mess!