How to handle confidential info in an interview
  2. Discovery Interviews (Step 2)
  3. How to handle confidential info in an interview

2. How to handle customer requests for an NDA

Use these points to discourage use of an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) for your Discovery interview.

Since NDAs are so common in many industries, your customer may automatically ask for one when scheduling a Discovery interview. These agreements are often requested for any meeting where technical people are attending "from both sides." Why? There's an underlying assumption that someone will divulge intellectual property that needs to be protected.

To prepare for this, open Blueprinter Tool 2.2: Schedule Discovery Interviews > Section 2. Handle Objections (at > Blueprinter software) where you’ll see this suggested response:

Should we have an NDA (non-disclosure agreement)? “No. At this meeting we'll only talk about what you want to have happen, not how to make it happen. In other words, your desired end-results or outcomes... but no solutions. Just tell us whatever you're comfortable telling us. Perhaps later, though, an NDA might make sense if we both want to go deeper."

You could add that this is an industry-facing project, and that you expect you’ll hear many of the same outcomes from other industry experts. (It’s better to call the other interviewees “industry experts” than “your competitors.”) You could also add, “But if we both decide to work together more closely later, an NDA might make sense then… but probably not at this early phase.”

What if the customer says, “That all makes sense… but we’re not going to have a Discovery session without an NDA.” Then it’s your business decision, and frankly most Blueprinting practitioners proceed with the NDA. As you'll see in the next BlueHelp article, Cloaking sticky notes during Discovery interviews, there's an easy way to handle confidential information while interviewing under an NDA.

Then why go to all the bother to discourage an NDA? Well, they don’t help at all… and can a) slow the process down, and b) set unwarranted expectations on the part of the customer.


Keywords: NDA, non disclosure agreement, CDA, confidential disclosure agreement, cloak sticky notes, secret information, confidential information