How To Develop A Business Diagnostic — a recipe for success
Almost every consulting firm you look at offer a business health check or diagnostic tool of some kind. Often these are free. Sometimes they are premium. But do they work? this article explores what is required to write a Business Diagnostic Tool.
Unfortunately many look sexy and seem on the surface to offer real value. But are they what they seem? Many of these tools only look at a narrow part of your organization. But your business works as an integrated system. Often a few questions are designed with the bias of the consultant or provider in mind. Are these tools really as ‘independent’ as they appear?
The BIR from RapidBI was developed by a team of specialists with no fixed agenda. Specialists from the fields of HR, change management, finance, marketing, operations and IT. Their brief was simple:
If you could only ask a limited number of questions, what would you ask to get the best understanding of what was going on in the client’s business?
The BIR is the result of that brainstorm and subsequent desk and field research over 100s of organizations of all sizes.
- Identify the need and scope
- Collect 10 experts in the fields of finance, marketing, operations and HRM/D
- Spend 150 days brainstorming best practice in each of the keys areas common to an effective organization
- Identify key thinkers and their models in all parts of running an organization
- Identify a structure upon which to ask the questions which is consistent
- Review the 100’s of questions and rationalise to a realistic number that people will be prepared to answer
- Validate the context of each question to ensure ambiguity is at a minimum
- Pilot the diagnostic with 5 organisations you know very well
- Compare the results with what is known about the organization
- Interview all participants and check the construction of the questions
- Spend 30 man days revising the questions and models in light of the research
- Retest the process with a further 50 organizations
- Case study and review outputs and re-evaluate the questions, structure and underpinning models
- Roll out to 50+ organizations
- Re-evaluate the questions and the process based on feedback from 15+ users. Refine the questions.
- Roll out to another 150+ organizations
- Re-evaluate the questions and the process based on feedback from 16+ users
- Make subtle changes and test with subject matter experts to ensure we measure what we say we measure
- Roll out to another 400 more organizations
- Periodically review questions in the light of changing economic environment and best business practice
How To Write A Business Diagnostic Tool – It is easy really…..
The BIR has taken many 100’s of hours to develop. Because of this diverse investment in development, the results are much richer than many available tools on the market
So to make a robust Business Diagnostic:
- Project manager for 10+ years
- Involve experts from a diverse range of experiences — 150 days
- Test and review — 150 man days
- Continuous development — 250 days and ongoing
To identify the needs of an organization takes more than the skills of one consultant or individual. No matter how good they are! Organizations of any size are complex. Use a diagnostic tool to identify priorities.
Contact the RapidBI team for more information
How To Write A Business Diagnostic Tool
This post originally published – Published on: Jun 29, 2007 Updated 2017