Using the Observation Technique to Identify Problems and Opportunities

“To acquire knowledge, one must study. To acquire wisdom, one must observe.”

-Marilyn vos Savant

One of the most powerful techniques to employ for problem identification is Observation. This method is used to elicit information by viewing and understanding someone or a group of people in their environment. This enables you to watch how people accomplish their work, the steps they follow as they move through processes, and the manual entries they make. You’re also able to observe and compare the process they’re following versus the ‘standard or best practice process’ or how others in their role are accomplishing the same tasks. These observations provide you with insight into pain points, roadblocks they are running into, workarounds they use, and clues as to where you can suggest adjustments that would generate value.