Assessment often involves asking lots of questions, as the following example shows.
From Bob's Consulting Log— I spent the entire morning asking people a lot of questions about the application, the system configuration, and how users perceived the performance problem. At lunch, the person who hired me said he was surprised that I had not yet logged onto the system. I told him my approach is to ask questions first and collect system data second. Later that day, I did obtain some data from the system, but the most important clue to the nature of the problem came from interviewing the users.
These questions are necessary to help you understand your limits as a performance professional, as well as those things that you can change. ...