I suggested that we start by interviewing the cross-section of organization's employees starting all the way at the top of the company (i.e. C-level executives) down to department heads, project specialists (the company did not have any designated project managers) and even some outsiders, including customers and suppliers.
The idea behind this suggestion was that it would be more appropriate to collect and understand people's issues with projects and propose solutions that address these problems directly rather than come up with an "off-the-shelf", best-practices solution. Also we believed that there is a better chance of people accepting our solutions if you can map them directly to problems mentioned by the employees. We also concluded that an informal approach to information gathering would be more appropriate for this exercise. As a result, all of the data presented in this article was collected mainly through one-on-one interviews.
Thinktank Consulting did not initially impose any standardized questions on the interviewees, but after a certain number of meetings several key issues started emerging repeatedly and therefore the rest of participants were asked to provide their opinions on these issues.
In total, thirteen department heads, seven executives, six project leads and four external people - both customers and subcontractors - were interviewed.