Next, we're going to talk about more specific types of interaction with the stakeholders. To obtain adequate, relevant information about the organization, domain, and problems that are currently happening with the system as it is. Direct interactions with the owners of such info proved to be invaluable. Such interactions may be organized according to specific protocols. And we're going to review a couple of techniques here. These techniques are going to include interviews, observation, ethnographic studies, and also group study settings. Interviews are one of the key ways to elicit knowledge from your stakeholders. That's pretty obvious, right? However, they're also one of the most challenging tasks to do efficiently and effectively. Given all of the domain knowledge that you've all ready gathered through your artifacts, you now need to identify appropriate stakeholders and create good, clear questions to ask. Stakeholders may include domain experts, managers, sales people, end users, consultants and more. One question to start asking first is who is going to be using the program most? Another good question is who's paying you? What do they care about? The people who are using it most, are likely the stakeholders that you want to use to make up the majority of your interviewers. All the others should also be represented. And this will give you a bigger view of the overall project. Focus first on the information that needs to be acquired. Then collect that information on the stakeholder roles as you understand them. Organize meetings with the interviewees and be sure to record all of their answers. It's also helpful if the interviewee is willing to look over your report, and refine it. In most cases that won't actually happen. They'll say, yay the interview's done. I'm going to assume that they were correct, and you'll hear nothing. But if they give their feedback, and they really care about the product, then that will really help you, and it'll give you extra information. Always remember when doing interviews that you should be protecting the customer's time as well as your own. In order to help save time, a single interview may involve multiple stakeholders. By talking with multiple people at once, you can get multiple views and a get a valid view of the project. This may also reveal conflicting views and conflicting interests or extended interests. When you pull this all in, it needs to be balanced carefully. When you're interviewing multiple people at the same time, this can mean that there's weaker content that you've really get out. Individuals tend to be less involved in big group meetings, and they may also speak less freely. Think about interview situations or meetings that you've been in. The interviewee, knowing that others might talk, may not come as well prepared to the meeting as you hope they would or they may not talk as much as if when they were on their own. Also if stakeholders realize that their ideas may be conflicted with others in the room. Then they may stay totally quiet and be less willing to put forth their views. Conflicts can arise because of maybe business political issues. Like say, if I say this and my boss hears it, my boss is sitting right there. I'm going to get in trouble. Or it could be I don't like that person. They're going to come back at me if I say something about this. Remember that it's scary to talk in front of other people. So we need a balance between multi-purpose interviews versus single. There are benefits to both types of interviews with single and with multiple stakeholders. It can lead to good discussion or it could also lead to a single sided argument. We've also probably all been in those meetings where one person takes control and there goes the entire conversation. And then you quit paying attention and it's just like please, will they stop? As a moderator, as the mediator of an interview, if the discussion gets off topic, watch the time. See how long you've actually been talking about a certain question. Jump in if you're spending too much time in one area. If someone starts to take over the conversation, wait until there's sort of a break and then ask some kind of question of the others to see if there's more input. Keep everyone involved. Always watch all of your interviewees interactions and reactions. If someone's talking, one single person is talking for more than say, one or two minutes it very likely that the others are going to zone out and just go when is this going to be over. They're less inclined to participate and you need keep the meeting focused. Keep the interview focused. The effectiveness of an interview can be measured by a weighted ratio between the utility and the coverage of the required knowledge. Look at how much you actually got that was useful. And then compare that to the time needed to acquire that information.