Billion Dollar Apps

Billion Dollar Apps: Becoming an investigator to understand the process

September 12, 2014

  • Alex Bratton

We’ve been talking about finding the processes that your mobile initiatives will improve. Here’s an excerpt from Billion Dollar Apps that will give you practical steps to getting close to the process with interviewing your team.


While shadowing is focused on experiencing workflows, interviews are focused on what workers think of those workflows. You can couple an interview with shadowing or arrange a series of interviews to get a good sampling of different workers.
Ask team members what gets in their way and how they would fix the process. Some of the best ideas come from the front lines. Below are some great starting questions to get to the root of the workflow.

  • What are the three primary work activities of your department?
  • What are the main steps of each activity, and who does them?
  • How much time does it take to perform X?
  • How many times per day (and week) do team members perform X?
  • What information do you need to accomplish X?
  • How do you get that information?
  • Is there movement from place to place?
  • Where do steps take longer or involve more people than they should?
  • What task takes the most time to perform?
  • What would you like to simplify about the process, if you could?

This is an excerpt from Billion Dollar Apps. Download the first chapter here, or purchase the book in iBookKindle, & paperback.

Next time: Data analysis for understanding the process.