That's why we bake Topsight into our process and use it in the right context. We're lucky – most of our teams work at the clients' locations for months or years, so getting access to the right people isn't *too* hard. Our interviews are aimed at the micro- and meso-level details of the work, not the work culture itself. We're looking for disruptions and breakdowns – stuff *we* can fix – and if we uncover a problem that has more to do with how things are organized, what kinds of people are hired, the incentive structures and so on, we hand that over to our clients.
Topsight also lends itself well to people-and-process-intensive projects like intranets, collaboration tools and case management.
I hope *everyone* working on tools for sharing and collaborating and in Enterprise 2.0/social business projects will read Topsight. We can't make things work better if we don't understand how they work.
Yes. Yes. Topsight is not a substitute for usability testing, prototyping, or other well-used approaches, but it does pull together details that those other approaches don't. It represents another tool in the toolkit, one that UX teams can use in the right situation. More thoughts at the link.