Business Diagnostic Models

Business Diagnostic Models

PRIMO-F ModelThere are many business diagnostic models available but are they all the same?


A business diagnostic can refer to an activity or a tool used to carry out the activity and of course there are different tools for different jobs. Some diagnostic tools are quick and dirty questionnaires while others are elaborate exercises with scientifically validated outcomes. Diagnostics range from a general business health check through to drilling down into a multitude of specific business areas.

Often consultants use the term “business diagnostic” to mean training needs analysis (TNA) or other identification of niche needs. these may be diagnostic tools used in business but they are hardly a diagnostic of business issues in the context of the operations of the business/ organization.

Others consider the three models, SWOT analysis, PESTLE analysis and Porter’s Five Forces to provide a comprehensive overview of the key areas of business operation. but the reality is that while these are frameworks for data collection they are NOT diagnostic tools, nor do the necessarily look at all key business operations.

Others consider the Force Field analysis tool to be a diagnostic, Its a great decision making tools – but hardly a diagnostic. Others in the field of organizational development consider tools such as cause maps and social network analysis to be good diagnostic tools – and they are – but only at the organizational level and not the business level.

A diagnostic model is a framework for identifying, analyzing and interpreting data in a given context to identify possible needs. The key here is “business diagnostic” Any diagnostic that only looks at people, style and people process and ignores BUSINESS PROCESSES, marketing and finance is not a business diagnostic.

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The framework we like to operate to is the PRIMO-F model, not perfect but a holistic business approach which is practical and time efficient.


How to write your own holistic business diagnostic

ecg99 business diagnostic tool

In our piece “How to write your own Business Diagnostic Tool” we outline some of the steps to develop a robust, practical and reliable tool. For in business there is no such thing as one person that is an expert in all parts of business, and for the BIR we had a team of 10+ people contribute to its initial development and testing. In summary:

So to make a reliable Business Diagnostic Tool:

  • Project manager for 10+ years
  • Involve experts from a diverse range of experiences – 150+days
  • Test and review – 150+  days
  • Continuous development – 200 days and on going
  • Software development & testing – ongoing


A business diagnostic is a meaningless exercise unless the person conducting it can correctly interpret what the diagnostic reveals about the business and is able to identify, prescribe or deliver effective remedies to address what the diagnosis shows.

An effective business diagnostic process provides the manager/ management team with a practical framework for identifying the current and desired health of a business in terms of its people, products 9services), customers and financial position as well as identifying appropriate planning strategies.

Any effective diagnostic tool will collect data from multiple sources and not just from one person. the key reason why a business fails… rose tinted glasses!


People – Resources – Innovation – Marketing – Operations – Finance

About Mike Morrison

Mike Morrison is a consultant and change agent specialising in developing skills in senior people to increase organizational performance.
Mike provides training & development in senior management, leadership, change management & other strategic programs to an international client base.
Mike is also founder & director of RapidBI, an organizational effectiveness consultancy.


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