This Article is in a Series About Analyzing Organizations
This article is the eighth in the series which includes:
1. How to Conduct a Basic Organizational Evaluation and Diagnosis
Sections of This Article Include
An organizational analysis is an evaluation of the quality of some or all of
the activities within an organization and preferably the quality of feedback
exchanged with key stakeholders, as well. The style of the analysis ranges from
intuitive and spontaneous to planned and orderly depending on the reasons for
the analysis. There are several important reasons, including:
- To identify the causes of current and significant issues to soon resolve
within the organization.
- As part of a strategic planning process in order to identify important internal
priorities to address over the coming years.
- In preparation for an upcoming significant change, for example, a merger
with another organization or a strategy to globalize the organization into
- In preparation for approaching funders and, thus, the need for presenting
a forthright and credible analysis so the funder understands the true situation
within the organization.
What is a Diagnostic Model?
An analysis could collect a vast range of information. However, unless there
is some framework around which to know what information to collect and how to
make judgments about that information, the analysis will likely become a very
overwhelming and confusing endeavor. This is where a diagnostic model is very
useful. A good diagnostic model will:
- Suggest some standard of performance about how a high-quality organization
should be operating, including the quality of its overall intended outcomes,
practices within the organization and how those practices are integrated with
- Suggest what types of information need to be collected in order to compare
the current performance of the organization with the suggested standard of
- Facilitate the comparison of the current performance of the organization
to the preferred standard of performance in order to generate recommendations
to improve the performance of the organization.
So How is an Organizational Evaluation and Diagnosis Done?
Here are the typical phases of a well-planned organizational analysis.
- Clarify the reason and, thus, the focus of the analysis, for example, to
resolve a certain major issue in the organization, such as recurring shortfalls
of cash that threaten the sustainability of the organization.
- Select the best diagnostic model needed to assess the quality of the various
best practices around ensuring sustainability, including finances.
Numerous diagnostic models are listed at
- Reference the model in order to identify what types of information should
be collected around those best practices.
- Select the best tools to collect the necessary information. Various criteria
for screening tools are listed in the article How
to Select from Among Public Data Collection Tools.
- Collect the necessary information, including organizing it into categories
suggested by the diagnostic model.
- Analyze the information in order to compare the current performance of the
organization to the standard of performance suggested by the diagnostic model.
- Generate an analysis report that explains the major findings of the analysis
and the recommendations regarding how to improve the organization’s practices
around ensuring sustainability.
The manner in which those recommendations are implemented is out of the scope
of the activities in organizational analysis and is more a matter of the
activities in guiding and supporting organizational change. See Guidelines,
Methods and Resources for Organizational Change Agents.
Learn More in the Library’s Blogs Related to New Forms of Organizations
In addition to the articles on this current page, see the following blogs which
have posts related to New Forms of Organizations. Scan down the blog’s page
to see various posts. Also, see the section “Recent Blog Posts” in
the sidebar of the blog or click on “Next” near the bottom of a post
in the blog.
For the Category of Organizational Development:
To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.
Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.