Organisational assessments

Simple temperature-take | Tailored standard approaches | Bespoke assessment | Assessor training

There are many reasons to carry out organisational assessments, including for example:

  • as a first step in a change programme, to identify priorities for change
  • as part of supplier assessment
  • as a diagnostic to tackle specific issues
  • as a measure of progress
  • as part of an employee engagement programme
  • as a cost-effective way of progressing customers’, parent organisations’, funders’ agendas
  • as part of an efficiency programme
  • as a route to build or strengthen a team
  • as a mechanism to give new leaders a clear, rounded picture of how things are

Depending on the specific reason, the nature of the organisation being assessed, the recipients of the feedback and the actions it is intended to prompt, the assessment may take a number of forms.

Simple temperature-take

A quick-and-dirty check exploring where issues seem to lie. This usually takes the form of a brief question set combined with discussion with key individuals. It can be:

  • high level, across the board, to identify where a more intensive focus will be most useful
  • a focus on a particular area, e.g. customer relationships, employee engagement, planning and control
  • simply an exercise to get a particular group on the same wavelength

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Tailored standard approaches

Shaping standard assessment mechanisms to meet the organisation’s specific needs:

  • focusing their attention on what matters most
  • ensuring the assessment asks the questions that will deliver relevant and useful answers
  • tuning the assessment process to avoid overkill and make most effective use of time and resource

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Bespoke assessment

Developing new assessment frameworks and processes specifically designed to address the organisation’s needs. Where a standard approach cannot be shaped to fit, or where the investment is justified and will produce the best result, it may be appropriate to start from scratch. I develop assessment processes for internal use and on behalf of funding or contracting departments and agencies. This can include:

  • collaborative development of the assessment process,
  • building and training assessment teams,
  • briefing and training the groups and organisations being assessed,
  • leading and managing assessment teams,
  • carrying out assessments,
  • providing appropriate mentoring, peer review or moderation processes,
  • developing feedback processes to ensure that the findings are understood and acted upon.

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Assessor training

Developing in-house assessment capability. Assessment by appropriate external professionals brings expertise and impartiality to the process. However bringing the assessment process in-house can be cost-effective and helps to engage people in the process. Typically, this includes:

  • training and developing internal assessors, ideally alongside external professionals during live assessments
  • carrying out a controlled handover from observing through to being observed
  • continued monitoring and mentoring
  • periodic reviews to ensure that assessments remain consistent and valid, and the assessment process continues to deliver what is required of it

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