RESEARCH Tool

P.O.E.M.S.

This tool helps with structured observation of environments and processes. It is particularly useful for complex environments that have multiple spaces and services within them which need to be mapped and observed independently.

For example, this tool could be applied at a hospital, or a site for routine immunisation within a community or primary health centre.
What it's great for

Identifying Key Elements in Complex Environments

The P.O.E.M.S. tool is great:
  • For identifying the key People, Objects, Environments, Messages and Services (P.O.E.M.S.) within complex environments.


  • For facilitating light, but insightful conversations with key persons.

What Do You Need?

  • Printed cards
    (for card sorting)
  • Papers and pen or pencil
    (for note taking)

Time Frame

1.5 hours

Group Size

1 - 3

A Canvas for Observing and Documenting

The canvas provide nudges to observe and document key aspects in your research environment. Overall it provides provides a holistic observation of environments and experiences, allowing the researcher to notice needs, pain-points, and positive aspects.

Download the full template and
get started with the tool