How to Diagram the Framework of Your Business Organization

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    © Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting,
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    The following framework can be filled in by readers to diagramming your business organization and 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 of 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 result, and the overall
    benefits/impacts (or outcomes) that occur and to which groups
    of people.

    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 the trainer to teach learners,
    for example, training materials, teachers, classrooms, funding,
    paper and pencils, etc. Various laws and regulations affect 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 the success of an
    organization or product. However, if the outputs aren’t directly
    associated with achieving the benefits desired by customers,
    then the outputs are poor indicators of the success of the organization
    and its products.


    Some organizations may choose to analyze their organizational
    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,
    and behaviors
    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
    and long-term.

    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
    • Collaborators
    • Free Management Library
    • Funders
    • Self-directed learners·
    • Volunteers
    • Computers
    • Web
    • Supplies


    • 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 a high-school diploma

    Short-Term Outcomes

    • high school diploma for graduates
    • improved attitude toward self and society for graduates
    • improved family life for families of graduates

    Intermediate Outcomes

    • full-time employment for learners (in a job that required high-school education)
    • increased reliability and improved judgment of learners
    • enhanced publicity and public relations for SDLC

    Long-Term Outcomes

    • independent living for learners (by using their salary to rent an apartment)
    • strong basic life skills for learners
    • improved love life for a learner who’s now in a relationship
    • increased likelihood and interest for learners to attend college

    Logic Model for

    Organization (Name)
    Or Product (Name)




    Short-Term Outcomes

    Intermediate Outcomes

    Long-Term Outcomes

    For the Category of Business Development

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