Diagramming the Basic Framework of Your Business Organization
© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting,
AField Guide to Nonprofit Program Design, Marketing
Related Library Topics
The following framework can be filled in by readers to design
a logic model (or diagram) for their organization and for each
of its programs or products. Guidelines and examples are provided
to help the reader.
Purpose of a Logic Model
A logic model is a top-level depiction the flow of materials
and processes to produce the results desired by the organization.
The model can be very useful to organize planning and analysis
when designing the organization and its products/programs or when
designing evaluations of products/programs. It can also be useful
for describing the organization.
What to Include and What Not to Include
Logic models can be in regard to whatever application in which
the designer chooses to use them. However, when using logic models
to analyze or describe organizations or departments, it’s often
best to use logic models to depict major, recurring items in the
organization or departments — rather than one-time items. For
example, you might not choose to do a logic model for the one-time,
initial activities to build an organization (constructing the
building, registering with state and federal authorities, etc.).
However, you might benefit more from using logic models to analyze
and describe the major, recurring activities that occur in the
organization or department (once they’re built) to continue to
produce the results desired for customers.
Size and Level of Detail
The logic model should be of a size that readers can easily
study the model without extensive reference and cross-comparisons
between pages. Ideally, the logic model is one or at most two
pages long. The level of detail should be sufficient for the reader
to grasp the major items that go into an organization, what occurs
to those inputs, the various outputs that results and the overall
benefits/impacts (or outcomes) that occur and to which groups
Note the content of program logic models is often more specific
than models for organizations. This level of specificity is often
quite useful for planners.
Definitions of Basic Terms
Logic models typically depict the inputs, processes, outputs
and outcomes associated with an organization and its processes
or products. Don’t be concerned about your grasping the “correct”
definition of each of the following terms. It’s more important
to have some sense of what they mean — and even more important
to be consistent in your use of the terms.
These are materials that the organization or department takes
in and then processes to produce the results desired by the organization.
Types of inputs are people, money, equipment, facilities, supplies,
people’s ideas, people’s time, etc. Inputs can also be major forces
that influence the organization or products. For example, the
inputs to a product that is bought by trainer to teach learners,
for example, training materials, teachers, classrooms, funding,
paper and pencils, etc. Various laws and regulations effect how
the product may be applied, for example, safety regulations, Equal
Opportunity Employment guidelines, etc. Inputs are often associated
with a cost to obtain and use the item — budgets are listings
of inputs and the costs to obtain and/or use them.
Processes (or Activities or Strategies or Methods)
Processes are used by the organization or program to manipulate
and arrange items to produce the results desired by the organization.
Processes can range from putting a piece of paper on a desk to
manufacturing a space shuttle. However, logic models are usually
only concerned with the major recurring processes associated with
producing the results desired by the organization. For example,
the major processes used by an organization to produce a product
for trainers might include recruitment of learners, pretesting
of learners, training, post-testing and certification.
Outputs are usually the tangible results of the major processes
in the organization. They are usually accounted for by their number,
for example, the number of products made by the organization.
Outputs are frequently misunderstood to indicate success of an
organization or product. However, if the outputs aren’t directly
associated with achieving the benefits desired for customers,
then the outputs are poor indicators of the success of the organization
and its products.
Some organizations may choose to analyze their organizationals
results in terms of outcomes, which are (hopefully positive) impacts
on customers whom the organization wanted to benefit with its
products. Outcomes are usually specified in terms of:
a) learning, including enhancements to knowledge, understanding/perceptions/attitudes,
b) skills (behaviors to accomplish results, or capabilities)
c) conditions (increased profits for customers, etc.)
It’s often to specify outcomes in terms of short-term, intermediate
Basic Example of a Logic Model
The following example is intended to further portray the nature
of inputs, processes, outputs and outcomes.
The logic model is for an organization called the Self-Directed
Learning Center (SDLC).
Logic models for programs are often more detailed.
- Free articles and other publications on the Web
- Free Management Library
- Self-directed learners·
- Provide peer-assistance models in which learners support each other
- Provide free, online training program: Basics of Self-Directed Learning
- Provide free, online training program: Basic Life Skills
- Provide free, online training program: Passing your GED Exam
- 30 groups that used peer models
- 100 completed training programs
- 900 learners who finished Basics of Self-Directed Learning
- 900 learners who finished Basic Life Skills
- 900 learners who passed their GED to gain high-school diploma
- high school diploma for graduates
- improved attitude toward self and society for graduates
- improved family life for family of graduates
- full-time employment for learners (in job that required high-school education)
- increased reliability and improved judgment of learners
- enhanced publicity and public relations for SDLC
- independent living for learner (by using salary to rent apartment)
- strong basic life skills for learner
- improved love life for learner who’s now in a relationship
- increased likelihood and interest for learner to attend college
Logic Model for
|Or Product (Name)|
For the Category of Business Development
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