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Team Visit

Start with introductions to as many people as possible so your faces become familiar as soon as possible. Then you are into interviews to collect data. Initially go for a neutral data collection in the identified key areas. Use nonthreatening but competent questioners. Understand and use site vocabulary and definitions to make the site comfortable, but ensure you can correlate these with your own.

There are five golden rules:

  • • Always interview on interviewees' home territory.
  • • Don't make inter-site comparisons while collecting data (otherwise you get into competitive and defensive modes).
  • • Never ask someone for information that you wouldn't give yourself.
  • • Cross check all information from a number of sources.
  • • Show draft conclusions to "partners" in the target location.

It is easy to see what you want to see. Therefore, analyze the data thoroughly; don't jump to conclusions. Make sure you have captured the real issues, the real performance, and how it is achieved. People too often tell you what they'd like to believe themselves.

Roadmap and Follow Ups

Before leaving, identify action items, action parties, timetable, and follow up methods (possibly a role for the gopher). It is good to quantify the benefits, however roughly, as this does add impetus.

 
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