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A Question Bank for Knowledge Management, Business Analysis, and Product Management

Today, I share the first iteration of a question bank for use in a ‘knowledge management assessment’, ‘generic system implementation’, or ‘product development and innovation program’. The spreadsheet catalogs nearly 400 questions from 21 sources. The questions are organized by “where used” (one or more of the above contexts); what role, or roles, are targeted to answer the question; and by one, or more, of 28 topics.

a red question mark

This work started as a collection of questions for a knowledge management discovery phase. There are over 50 questions specifically targeted for that purpose. As I researched, I discovered many additional questions that apply to any system implementation, including a KM system…and I added these. Along the way, I also discovered many questions more relevant to product development and so I captured these marked to the third usage.

All this is on behalf of my July learning goal to level-up my elicitation technique. One component of best-in-class elicitation is to ask questions that elicit the maximum amount of insight possible. In constructing this bank, I wanted to go beyond simplistic guidance such as “use open-ended questions”, “don’t lead the witness”, and use the 5-Whys. Instead, I went after specific questions that I could then pick from, based on the needs of a particular project.

screenshot illustrating a portion of the spreadsheet

Download the Question Bank spreadsheet


  • The questions are targeted for use in live interviews, in contrast to a survey.
  • The ‘Customer’ is the person or group that is funding / purchasing the work.
  • The ‘User’ is a person that hands-on uses the system and is, in the enterprise setting that I am interested in, rarely the Customer.
  • The ‘Dup.’ column is a way to flag questions that are nearly identical but are from different sources. Each set of near-duplicates are assigned a number. For example, rows with ‘7’ are all some flavor of “how will success be measured?”.
  • I always marked ‘Product Manager and/or Business Analyst’ as a target since not only are these roles asking the questions but they should also be considering if their own prior knowledge is relevant for inclusion.

Further Reading

Published in Business Analysis Knowledge Management Portfolio


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