Needs Assessment Interview Tool

Needs assessment interview tool

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Needs Assessment Interview Tool
Instructions and Questionnaire
Needs Assessment Interview Tool
The Requirements Development process begins with an assessment of the client’s needs

The Needs Assessment Interview Tool (NAIT) creates the framework for a conversation
with the client to understand their needs by suggesting probing questions in a number
of areas that have proven critical to project success. It is not intended to be sent to the
client to be filled out on their own. Such a short-cut may prove to be counter-
productive both in eliciting the required information and in building a productive client

The exact steps and level of detail required on each individual project varies based on
the complexity of the project, the needs and receptiveness of the client, and the
estimated value of a potential change. Additionally, the questions provided in this
document should not be considered as a limit to the conversation but a tool to enhance
it and provide a general structure. The Regional Workplace Executive (RWE) is
available to help project teams assess the value a project represents and choose the
direction and level of effort required

Project Screening
The first step in the needs assessment process is to screen the potential value of the
project using a quick screening process. The Project Planner and Visualization Tool
(PP&VT) can assess value for different project options and can also be used to compare
the current situation to a consistent “best-case” scenario. Using information from the
new space request, continuing needs letter or Occupancy Agreement for the existing
space, gather the proposed headcount and total useable square footage for the proposed
space. Go to the project planner “Project Options Planner” tab, select “simple” baseline,
and enter this information. Then, enter the following for the “best case” option:
 Individuals seated in open-plan: 80%
 Average Office / Workstation Size: 120/40SF
 Desk Sharing: 20% of headcount
 Shared Support Space Ratios: Mid
 Mission-critical, or “special” space: use actual, or, assume it is 10% of current
Note the payback period noted in the Space Standards plus Desk Sharing Tab. If the
payback shown is less than the firm-term of the lease this could be a high-value project

Consider next whether any of the following are true:
 The project is prospectus-level, or, greater than mid-size (200+ staff) if not?
 The project U/R exceeds agency or GSA-proposed space standards ranges?
 The agency requested help evaluating requirements for space efficiency?
 The project will consider a change in location?
If the project payback is within the term of the proposed OA or firm-term of a lease,
AND one or more of the above is true; or, payback is estimated in less than 5 years AND
the project impacts more than 25 people, then this is a “high-value” project and you
should follow the “In-Depth” process. If not, this is a “standard” project and the
“Standard” process is warranted. These processes define what sections of the NAIT are
mandatory, and help define how to structure your approach to this particular project

[Note: If additional information is known about the project, project teams may
use the full PP&VT to do a more detailed assessment of project value. The
process followed is the same as described above, the estimated payback period
will simply be based on more detailed information.]
Preparing for the Needs Assessment Interview
The project manager should complete Sections I, Customer Information, and II
Background Information on Current Space using the client space request, current OA,
and client-facing representatives like the Regional Account Manager and Building
Manager as necessary. The project manager should then gather and review all
documentation included in Section III Documentation as is practical to do prior to
meeting with the client. The updated NAIT should be forwarded to the client point of
contact with a request to meet. Depending on whether the High-Value or Standard
process is selected, the sections which will be discussed should be highlighted to give the
client a heads-up on how to prepare. You should become familiar with the questions,
their intent, and which you will be asking of the client prior to conducting the interview

M - Mandatory; O - Optional
NAIT Section New-Space In-Depth Standard
Process Process Process
I - Customer Info M M M
II - Background Info - Current Space M M M
III - Documentation M O O
IV - Objectives M M M
V - New Space and Delineated Area M O O
VI - Workspace Requirements See Below See Below See Below
Business Overview M M O
Individual Workspace M M M
Group Workspace M M M
Building Features M M O
Building Support Spaces M M O
VII - Parking M M O
VIII - Building Operations M M O
IX - Security M M O
X - Additional Notes and Resources Reference Reference Reference
Conducting the Needs Assessment Interview
Conduct the interview using the NAIT as a guide. Feel free to expand on questions
provided, probe for additional detail, or ask additional questions depending on where
the conversation takes you. Enter all information gathered into the tool live, or, onto a
note paper for subsequent entry into your systems

Needs Assessment Interview Tool (NAIT)
GSA Associate:
GSA Region:
Date of Assessment
Date of Projected Data
Federal Agency:
Department and/or Branch:
AB Code(s):
Customer Representative(s):
Phone Number:
Mobile Number:
Fax Number:
Approval Authorities: If no, please note authorized approving official in space provided
Final Requirements Package yes no
DID Approval yes no
Customer Changes yes no If no, describe limit / higher approval
Funding yes no
OA / RWA / Market Survey yes no
Mandatory, All Projects
Existing Headcount
Federal Full Time Equivalent
Part Time
Do not count individuals in more than one category
Location of Current Assignment:
Existing Rentable Square Feet:
Existing Usable Square Feet:
Existing Carbon Footprint*:
Existing Lease Cost
*Optional: Identify method if provided; the GSA Project Planner & Visualization Tool may be
used to provide a projected carbon footprint for this purpose

Mandatory, All New Space and In-Depth RD Projects; Optional, Standard RD Projects
Note that information and documentation listed in this section is to be gathered by the GSA
associate responsible for requirements development prior to or immediately following the Needs
Assessment Interview

Attach a copy of the following items to this document if available and/or applicable:
Staffing List/Headcount Data for requirement (Date for Headcount Projection: )
This list should include each authorized staff member’s position/title and grade (if applicable) and
differentiate between Federal FTE, Contractor, Temporary and Part-Time or Seasonal positions)
Organization Charts
Customer Space Standards
Check internally (GSA agency space standards library, ASR document or other) or have
customer provide national space standards that govern the procurement and design of space

Customer Mission and/or Initiatives
Check internally with account manager for customer mission and any new initiatives

Obtain a copy of or develop the following items if available and/or applicable:
Floor plans of existing space
Systems furniture installation drawings
Agency telework or commuter survey data – if available
GIS Map of proposed delineated area depicting mass transit locations and vacant
federal and leased space under GSA control. Consult Asset Manager, or use GSA
Urban Development Program Flex GIS Viewer
Agency Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan or 2 page summary of SSPP from
Account Manager if available. Sustainability.Performance.GOV
Basic Space Program for existing location (if available, do not create)
Mandatory, All Projects
1. What is the objective or purpose of the project or move?
2. Does the customer have any special constraints, areas of special emphasis or objectives
related to the new requirements that we should know about?
Constraint / Objectives Explanation
Organizational Change
Mission Change
Space / Carbon Reduction
Are you considering space reduction in support of Presidential Memo
requirements or Sustainability goals? yes no
Do you wish to pursue space savings from desk sharing possible due to
mobility (work at home programs, field work, internal work away from
desk, etc.)? yes no
Do you have collective bargaining units / agreements that will impact
either space standards or mobility? yes no
3. Is the customer willing to allow GSA to conduct an Employee Workplace Survey to gather
data on work patterns, interest and proficiency in telework, and other information relevant to
the workplace? yes no
4. How does the customer define success (customer priorities)?
(e.g.: on budget, on schedule, cutting edge design, better location, more efficient use of space)
Mandatory, All New Space and In-Depth RD Projects; Optional Standard RD Projects
Date Space required: Square Footage requested:
(not necessarily lease exp date) (if not determined yet, enter TBD)
1. How was the quantity of space determined? (Note: client’s request for quantity of space will
be used as a baseline by GSA associate when developing options to meet stated needs;
GSA associate should ask client for the basis of any square footage requested, i.e. existing
space, established agency standards, other method)
2. Is the client interested in occupying vacant federal space? yes no
3. Has the customer already established a specific delineated area for this requirement?
yes no
If yes, what are the geographical boundaries?
4. Is the client willing to prioritize locations within ¼ mile of a fixed transit line or Walkscore*
above 75? yes no
*Walkscore is a proprietary system used to rate the walk-ability or relative dependence
on use of a privately owned vehicle of employees assigned to a given location; more
information is available at:
5. Does the customer have any special adjacency requirements (i.e. are there any
requirements for or against co-locating with other federal agencies or other entities)? yes
If yes, what are they?
6. Will the customer be moving existing furniture? yes no
If yes, have you investigated the cost of moving vs. purchasing?
7. Does the customer have any sustainability goals beyond the existing regulations, existing
laws and Executive Orders in effect? yes no
If yes, what are they?
8. Does the customer wish assistance with any services related to including mobility as a way
of delivering their mission?
Workplace strategic requirements engagement
IT infrastructure development planning,
Change management
If yes – note what is known about the requirement and contact your Regional Workplace

9. Does the customer wish for GSA to assist with any of these services:
IT/Network and Telecommunication Services
Local and Long Distance Telephone Service (dial tone services)
Furniture Acquisition
Furniture and Personal Property Disposal
Office Equipment Acquisition
Security Products and Services
Move Coordination
If yes – note what is known about the requirement and contact your FAS counterpart

See Individual Subsections Below
Please note that the questions in these sections are intended to gather information from
the client’s leadership or facilities perspective. In the event the client authorizes GSA to
conduct a survey of its employees, similar questions will be asked and will provide a
comparison of employee and leadership perspectives

Mandatory, All New Space and In-Depth RD projects; As-Needed Standard RD Projects
1. Provide an overview of what your organization does and the kind of work that is
conducted by the personnel in this request (typical office, customer facing, etc.)

2. How do employees typically work? (in teams, individually, mainly offsite, etc.)
3. Generally speaking, what proportion of your employees is working in the
following ways: Note that the client may have several groups of 50 or more employees which
perform work very differently, and that difference should be captured to ensure delivery of the
right kind of space. Fill in the proportion for each group of 50 or more workers who are working in
distinctly different ways. For instance, personnel working with paper documents at their desk will
have a different “signature” than those who are mobile three days a week. (Major groups over 50
should be similarly categorized, and there is an additional worksheet in “Section X. Additional
Notes and Resources” at the end of this instrument for your use :
Figure 1 below expresses these different ways of working in a matrix form; see for greater explanation of work patterns
Figure 1:
4. Does the customer have an established telework programs? If so, what is their current
telework participation rate (number of regular teleworkers, average number days /
5. Is staff often away from their desk or out of the office as part of their normal work
6. Does the customer make use of unassigned or shared seating (hotelling, reserve-able,
team space, etc) currently? If so, roughly how many employees participate and what
sharing ratio (number of employees / desk) do they use?
7. Which of the following mobile work supporting devices or tools does the agency currently
provide to the employees considered in this request; does the agency plan to change
use in the next 2 years? (Roughly what percentage of employees have or use these
tools regularly or will have or use these tools?)
Tool or Devices Percentage of Headcount

The first step in the needs assessment process is to screen the potential value of the project using a quick screening process. The Project Planner and Visualization Tool (PP&VT) can assess …

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are interview assessment tools?

Interview assessment tools help organizations to automate the interviewing process. It accesses the candidates' skills, culture fit and compares results across your applicant software. And it uses the data to make unbiased hiring decisions that work.

How do i conduct a needs assessment?

Collect internal information Next, gather information and collect data on how to best solve the identified gaps. Remember that the goal of a needs assessment is to understand how to get from your current process to the desired outcome. Gather data from various departments and stakeholders who are closest to the process.

How do you identify needs?

Identifying needs requires team communication, problem-solving skills, and out-of-the-box ideas. Use these questions as a jumping-off point to get the ball rolling. Once you know which questions to ask, you can begin to gather data. A needs assessment is a great way to analyze and interpret relevant data that will influence your decision-making.

Why do interviewers not give the answers you want?

If your interviewees have something against you or your organization, they will not give you the answers you want and may even mess up your results. When people don't want to talk, setting up an interview is a waste of time and resources.