How to debrief & follow-up a Discovery interview
  2. Discovery Interviews (Step 2)
  3. How to debrief & follow-up a Discovery interview

2. The Discovery interview debriefing checklist

Bring a copy of this checklist with you... for after the interview.

Be sure to print a copy of the Debriefing Checklist and take it with you on your interview trip. You can download this at > BlueTools > Conduct Discovery Interviews/Tours. When you get to your debriefing coffee shop or restaurant, you’ll find this helpful as you work through three areas of debriefing:

Clean-up: This is the more mundane part of debriefing. You’ll correct typos, spell out acronyms, clarify phrasing, etc. As much as possible, make sure you retain the actual words the customer used: Don’t summarize their comments in your own words. Also, you may find that you’ve got isolated words and phrases that made sense during the interview… but would make much more sense if you expanded them into full sentences and longer phrases. Here’s the test: If someone who wasn’t on this interview looked over your Discovery sticky notes in two years, would it make sense to him or her?

Conclusions: Check to be sure all Top Picks and Must Haves have been correctly identified in the Discovery sticky notes. And for the Top Picks, have you created coherent Outcome Statements, e.g. “Minimize training time”? Of course, you should always create Outcome Statements at the end of the interview with the customer. They are the only ones who truly know what these should be. This is a good time to also record your confidential notes—points that would have been awkward to type during the interview—and any conclusions you and your team-mates have reached. (Example: This is a customer we should plan on working very closely with.) There’s a place in your Prep Sheet for such notes.

Course of Action: This is all about getting better the next time. Each team member should seek advice on how they could do a better job of listening, probing, and carrying out the duties of their specific role. And review how you performed as a team: Could the setup have been smoother? How did the tour go? Did you make the customer comfortable during your opening? What would you change in each of the 5 parts of the Discovery interview: Current State, Problems, Ideal State, Triggered Ideas, and Top Picks? Finally, what are your next steps… for future interviews and for this customer.

For more on this topic, view e-Learning module 18: Debriefing after Interviews at > e-Learning.


Keywords: debrief after interview, Debriefing Checklist, Discovery interview debriefing, clean up interview notes, typos, acronyms, verbatim, conclusions, course of action