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Set the exploration focus

Summarize insights

As a team, we’ve gone through a knowledge-building process that is difficult for outsiders to comprehend. Now is a good time to communicate an interim status to our superiors. The wording we use for this will also help us when it comes to recruiting interview partners.

With the results of the tools Tree Analysis and Map Out Actors, the foundations are in place for us to be able to formulate the exact focus of the investigation in Phase 3. Based on the state of knowledge to date and the assumptions identified, we will now determine together what else needs to be found out.

This summary of the full extent of our knowledge facilitates internal and external communication. Reporting creates a reliable basis for communication between core team and management. The communication format can be agreed on with the decision-makers.

The only requirement for the preparation of the Situation Report is that all aspects are to be described without prescribing a particular solution. This point must be observed – regardless of whether the venture is self-initiated or has been commissioned by management.

Situation Report

Situation Report

What is it and what purpose does it serve?

Focusing on knowledge gaps that require further investigation and pursuing unconfirmed assumptions is one of the most important requirements in terms of legitimizing the departure from a familiar environment. All questions in the template have to be answered in order to communicate clearly and simply why key actor participation is necessary.

Added value

In addition to looking back at what has been accomplished, it shows what is planned next. This will enable team members and managers who are committed to moving away from existing routines to successfully communicate to their next level of management why the venture should continue to be supported.

The exploratory focus forms the basis for investigation in the field. So-called grounded theory (Glaser in Walsh, Holton et al. 2015) is based on detecting patterns in behavior, data, and theories. By incorporating the perspectives of key actors, patterns can be deciphered, enabling fresh evidence and theories to be derived.

Situation Report

Work sheet

45 – 60 minutes


The Situation Report summarizes the interim outcomes of the exploration phase to date. In this way, all documentation is made accessible and put into context. When drawing up the documentation, follow the STORY from the Development Plan, possibly using the same presentation format and working visually.

  1. Recall the essential points from the knowledge work done to date.

  2. First of all answer the first question of the investigation focus verbally, speaking it out loud. Take care to use clear, precise language. As a team, repeat, refine, write down and rewrite the answers over and over to get to the point.

  3. Repeat the procedure from Step 2 for all further questions pursued in the investigation focus.

  4. Complete the Situation Report. To do this, embed text modules from the investigation focus in the Situation Report.

  5. Use this material to create a successful presentation that resonates.

Note: If any resistance or concerns arise during the process, these can be incorporated afterwards.