ASSESSMENT: START WHERE YOU ARE
You have a strategy but are not achieving the outcomes that you planned. Is your strategy correct? Do you have an approach to achieve that strategy that just isn't producing the results? Or is the reason not achieving the results due to a lack of execution? Are execution lapses due to competency or commitment...lack of discipline or lack of understanding? In order to ensure that you are giving the right guidance, you need to know the exact nature of the gap that stands between where you are not and your desired outcomes. Often an outside view can generate insights not able to be produced internally. Our Assessment Services can help.
The purpose of the assessment is to identify the areas of great competence and success along with the areas of low success. Once those areas are identified, along with impediments to success, we can plan how to leverage the successful things that you do to the areas that are challenged. Our assessment provides executive leadership with an objective analysis that helps them deal with alignment issues early. It has the additional benefit of improved visibility into the progress and quality of the strategic effort. The assessment has 2 components: validation and verification.
The purpose of the validation portion of the assessment is to confirm (e.g. by examination and provisions of objective evidence) that the strategic approach is appropriate for the vision of the company given the environment and that the particular plan for fulfilling approach is appropriate given the personnel and resources available. The assessment begins with an examination of the strategy (mission, vision, strategic goals, etc.) and associated outcomes. Then we review (or craft if necessary) the specific success indicators that reveal outcome attainment. Next we conduct an examination of the assumptions that underlie the approach to obtain the strategy. We examine the planned initiatives, activities, outputs and plans around usage to validate their capability to actually produce the outcomes. This includes examination of the end product, interim products and planned processes to determine whether or not they are forecasted to meet the desired outcomes. It ends with a conclusion concerning strategic alignment to vision, recommendation for portfolio scope changes, and forecasts.
Historically, we have found that 30% or more of the activities performed by an organization have no relation to the strategic goals of the organization. Removing that 30% frees resources which can be reallocated to more useful endeavors for the organization. This usually enables a 30% increase in productivity in less than 6 months.
The purpose of the verification portion of the assessment is to confirm (e.g. by examination and provisions of objective evidence) that the organization's execution efforts are effectively progressing toward outcome expectations of the strategic approach. The assessment begins with an examination of the milestones, metrics, and forecasts associated with outcome achievement. Next we compare the processes, plans, and outputs prioritized for execution against corresponding best practices. Then we examine the accuracy of the reporting and the overall appropriateness of communication throughout the organization in order to determine whether the organization understands the strategy and the outcomes they are responsible for achieving. Then we determine the appropriateness of current practices based upon the inherent talents of the organization. It ends with a conclusion regarding the organization's execution with regard to the strategy, notification of areas for improvement to efficiency, and recommendations for corrective action for planned development for future optimization.