Exchange Client Group – Needs Assessment Project
Messaging & Collaboration Services
Emmanuel M Nkeze
The Information School, University of Washingtonenkeze@u.Washington.edu
- The methodology is based on the research components of usability engineering, that focuses on providing qualitative and quantitative information about users. 
- The primary research method that I used is called a User Needs Assessment/Task Analysis. The major tools of this method are:
- Task Analysis – Workflow/Job Analysis
- Contextual Inquiry – Passive/Conversational Observatory techniques
- Verbal Protocols – Cognitive walkthrough
- Interviews - Structured and Unstructured interviews
The Exchange Client Group is constantly looking for efficient and effective ways of handling information to support its customers. As the company continues its downsizing activity, the group has seen its workforce decrease and workload increase. Thus the motivation of doing this project is not only to fulfill MSIM project requirement, but also to leverage my knowledge from MSIM to help my team.
- Collaboration Services
- The collaboration service provides an infrastructure to support Boeing’s e-business services. It’s vision is to provide a well managed, full suite of products and services within Boeing and other companies to enable them to collaborate anywhere, anytime. The Exchange Client Admins falls under the Messaging part of the umbrella that provides product life cycle support for the Outlook Client with respect to the overall Boeing architecture.
- Project Goals
- Identify the information needs with respect to information life cycle
- Assess the information created and its value
- Identify expertise and knowledge assets
- Identify quick wins that could produce immediate benefits
- Sponsors Profile
- Goals Knowledge Information Taxonomy
- Guardian & Stakeholder Profile
- Information Staging Plan
- Information Analyzes Report
- Audit’s Blueprint Report and Next Steps
- • Analysis of workflow and Client admins doing their jobs
- Passive/Conversational observatory analysis
- Cognitive walkthrough analysis
- Structured and unstructured interviews
- Data Collection
- Goals Knowledge Information Taxonomy (GKIT) shown below guided me in recording the organizational goals and objectives, matching them to the knowledge required and information needed and the guardian and stakeholders of information.
- Data Analysis
Matching “What is” and “What should be”
- The table below shows the heart of my analysis, which is a matching process
- between what the organization’s goals imply it should be doing with information,
- and what the audit has shown it is doing. The focus for interpretation is the points
- where the two differ and those where they match. Burk and Horton (1988).
Client Admins should have access permissions to tools and resources. Currently Admins only have limited access to the Exchange Admin tool and Active directory.
Processes should be streamlined and clearly defined. Today, processes does exist but often times they are either cumbersome, vague or not followed consistently.
Admins should be able to find and retrieve information needed to support customers quickly. Information exists in multiple areas, some on hard drives or file share, in Personal folder files, Boeing Online Support System (BOSS), websites, and the rest as knowledge stored in the minds of people in the organization.
Provide Stable Product
Client Admins should continue to participate in issues that affect Outlook Product.
Admins should be more involved in all phases of product life cycle. Currently Client Admins spend most of their time catering to end user, help Center executive support issues. That usually leaves them with little time for testing, end user training, documentation and feedback.
Reduce Cost of Service
The audit found that Client Admins are providing services that are billable but there is no CWA or charge line to bill cost of service
Admins are spending almost all of their time researching and working trouble tickets and little time spent working on eliminating root cause of problems
Here are a list of “quick wins” items that could be implemented immediately to
Produce immediate benefit to the group
• Develop an intellectual asset register listing expertise and knowledge assets
• Identify a process owner or designate a focal for corrective action
• A website is already in works, maybe the team might consider building a
Taxonomy that supports and enhances search and retrieval
• Develop a rotating/research type schedule around projects and tickets
• Kick off a information “Best Practices” initiative
• Management intervention is needed in the area of providing services for free
- A. Sasha Giacoppo, Department of Psychology, Catholic University, Washington, DC 20064 USA, October 2001 http://www.otal.umd.edu/hci-rm/dvlpmeth.html
-  ORNA, E (1996), “Information Auditing”, Singapore Libraries, 25 (2), 69 –82
- Additional references:
- Organizational Goals & Objective: http://email.boeing.com
- Amy Dillon, Sara Dolansky, Melanie Rodney, Peter Aubin, “User Needs Assessment1”, Ottawa
- Usability professional society, November 2001
- The Exchange Client Needs Assessment project is supported by Brad Wright, Dean Sepstrup and special acknowledgement to the Client team members (Holly, Bill, Gary, Kim) for their support.
Used to understand the broad issues, the context, the needs and the underlying whys.
Examples includejob shadowing, focus groups, 1-on-1 interviews
- Quantitative methods:
- Used to measure & predict attitudes & behaviours.
- Examples include interviews, questionnaires, telephone surveys
- Use group techniques if:
- Interactions will spark thought
- Information is not sensitive
- Social influence is part of your research
- Most participants can say all they know in 8-12 minutes
- Enough participants can be assembled in one location
- Use 1-on-1 techniques if:
- Interactions are limited or not productive
- Subject matter is sensitive
- Greater depth of response per individual is required
- Participants are few and far between