CSC 114

FACTS FINDING TECHNIQUES

Learning objectives

Interview and Listening

Used for gathering facts, opinion speculations. Body languages and other signs are observed

Guidelines for Conducting Interview

1. Prepare interviewee's appointment and questions; 2. Spend time thinking about all issues you what to find out; 3. Jot these issues or questions down; 4. Make the interview friendly and natural; 5. Listen carefully and take note; 6. Don't be too forward

Open-Ended and Closed-Ended

Open-ended questions are used to probe for information for which you cannot anticipate all possible references or for which you do not know the precise questions to ask. The interviewee is allowed to talk freely on those questions.

Advantages of Open-Ended Questions

I. Previously unknown information can surface, one can then continue exploring along unexpected lines of inquiry to reveal even more new information

2. It often put the interviewee at ease since they are able to respond in their own words.

Disadvantages of Open-Ended questions

I. It can be difficult to summarise

ii. It takes a lot of time to conduct

Close-Ended questions

Close-ended questions provide a range of answers from which the interviewees can choose from. They are the objective questions and can be in forms of, True or False, Multiple choice, ranking items in order of importance and rating a response on some scale

Advantages of Close-ended questions

I. Answers to questions are well know

ii. It is not time consuming

iii. More topics can be covered

iv. It is an easy way to start off an interview and to determine which line of open ended questions to pursue.

Disadvantages of Close-ended questions

I. Useful information that does not quite fit into the defined answers may be overlooked as the responded tries to make a choice instead of providing their best answer.

Questionnaires

This is of value when the number of staff to be examined is too large or to be destructive of production.

This is of value when the number of staff to be examined is too large or to be destructive of production.

Advantages of questionnaire

1. less biased in the presentation of results

2. Information is gathered

3. Respondents may be more honest or fair in writing whereas during interview, they may be less informative

4. Not expensive to administer

Disadvantages of questionnaire

I. Answers may be ignored or given wrongly

ii. The method is particularly used for confirmation rather than to obtain information

iii. It is passive and often yield less depth of understanding than interviews

Observation Method

This technique involve watching people carry out their assignments in the normal course of their duties.

Advantages of Observation method

I. Inadequacies and inefficiencies of performance can be noted through observation

ii. First hand information and objectives are obtained

iii. How people behave in their work situation

Disadvantages of Observation

I. People can change their normal cause of operation if they are aware they are being watched

ii. Some may be nervous and make more mistakes

iii. It is time consuming

iv. Limited data could be collected

Reading

This involves reading general material or literature about the organisation or some other similar tasks. It involves examining existing procedure manual and job specification of the organisation.

Advantages of Reading

I. It may reveal problems with existing system

ii. It gives opportunities for new needs

iii. Organisational direction that can influence system requirement would be known.