Without a clear starting point, future state requirements and gap analysis, organizations waste valuable time on "shiney things" -Barbara A. Scott
Organizations that resist seeking outside parties in support of assessments for their organization are missing out on three major benefits. Not only can they help you determine the feasibility of an intended effort, provide a baseline for improvement or enable readiness for change they do so much more.
1. Provides an objective perspective on the endeavor
Over the years I have witnessed the delivery and under-delivery of many projects at many different types of organizations. One of the biggest reasons for the latter was lack of clear understanding on the part of the leader or a lack of buy-in on the part of the performers.
When a leader sets and expects unrealistic outcomes the performers often become disheartened and feel as if they are set up for failure from the beginning. Likewise, when the performing groups are unable to adequately articulate the level of effort required, it also sets the leader up for failed expectations and unexpected impacts to the business bottom line.
Thorough and and thoughtful assessments take into consideration the goal and needs of the business while also determining the ability, attitude and appetite for change. When the appetite is lacking - the outcome of the assessment can focus on how to get the performers hungry for change and dedicated to delivering. A well-done assessment creates trust between the leadership team and the performers with a renewed commitment to change that creates results in which they can envision the benefits.
2. Can support the business case for additional resources when necessary for success
Sometimes not being ready to start a project is the biggest risk to the project. Everyone has to have a clear understanding of the objectives, why they are important and how they are going to be delivered. A readiness assessment can identify the potential gaps and provide recommendations for closing them. At the very least an assessment can serve as a roadmap for potential obstacles organizations might experience along the way.
3. Allow you to go "up down or sideways" from the same starting point
The final reason is often the most important, especially in today's era of innovation. Almost all growth and expansion are based on new technologies that are changing rapidly. In order to get to where you are going you have to know where you're at to begin. A baseline assessment creates a starting point that everyone can agree on. It is clearly articulated in terms of the areas that are important to the business and how they are aligned with the delivery of the performers. The time you will save on false starts will more than pay for the cost of the assessment. The ROI alone should be reason enough to schedule an assessment before your next improvement effort.
If over the years inexperienced consultants have left a bad taste in your mouth. Bring in someone with practical experience, that achieved superior results - the investment will be worth it.