How to Conduct a Basic Organizational Evaluation and Diagnosis

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    © Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.

    Much of the content
    of this topic came from this book:
    Consulting and Organization Development - Book Cover

    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

    What is an Organizational Evaluation and Diagnosis?

    How is an Organizational Evaluation and Diagnosis Done?

    What is an Organizational Evaluation and Diagnosis?

    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:

    1. To identify the causes of current and significant issues to soon resolve
      within the organization.
    2. As part of a strategic planning process in order to identify important internal
      priorities to address over the coming years.
    3. In preparation for an upcoming significant change, for example, a merger
      with another organization or a strategy to globalize the organization into
      other countries.
    4. 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.

    How the Analysis is Done — the Role of Diagnostic

    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:

    1. 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
      each other.
    2. Suggest what types of information need to be collected in order to compare
      the current performance of the organization with the suggested standard of
    3. 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.

    1. 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.
    2. 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
    3. Reference the model in order to identify what types of information should
      be collected around those best practices.
    4. 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
    5. Collect the necessary information, including organizing it into categories
      suggested by the diagnostic model.
    6. Analyze the information in order to compare the current performance of the
      organization to the standard of performance suggested by the diagnostic model.
    7. 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
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    Consulting and Organizational Development Blog

    Leadership Blog

    Nonprofit Capacity Building Blog

    Also, consider
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    For the Category of Organizational Development:

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