Using Organisational Assessments in NGO’s
What is Organisational Assessment?
An Organisational Assessment (OA) is an evaluation of an organisation’s capacity and performance.
An Organisational Assessment covers the organisation’s internal performance, relations and image; its performance in achieving its objectives, as well as its internal functioning and resources, role and strategy. The organisation’s overall strengths, weaknesses and development needs can be identified through this process.
Organisational assessment is an essential first stage in a capacity building process that aims to develop healthy and resilient organisations that can effectively achieve their objectives.
Why undertake an Organisational Assessment?
Organisational assessment is an essential activity in strengthening the capacity of an organization to more effectively achieve its goals. Its main use is as a “diagnosis” of the capacity of the organization. Information from this diagnosis is used to identify key organizational needs, and hence to plan and implement appropriate internal capacity building activities.
When it is done in a participatory way, the process of organisational assessment can itself build organisational capacity. By stimulating reflection, learning, and dialogue, new and old problems and opportunities are examined, and ideas for addressing them generated. OA establishes a learning model that can be used again for similar exercises in the future.
The holistic approach taken (looking at the whole organisation and how the different parts inter-relate) makes it easier to identify developmental priorities which are not always obvious when in the midst of day-to-day work pressures.
Organisational assessment can also be used as a monitoring framework for the organization to measure its progress and development over time.
In summary organisational assessment is an essential part of an internal capacity building process that helps an organisation to take charge of its own development.
In a given organisation it can be used to strengthen and increase the effectiveness of individual organizations which in turn will help to strengthen the network as a whole.
How can Organisational Assessment be used?
Organisational assessment can be used by any organisation to:
- Take an organisational “health check” to ensure that the organisation is effective, healthy and resilient.
- Clarify and further explore specific organisational challenges and problems in order to identify their root causes
- Identify organisational strengths and weaknesses
- Develop an internal capacity building strategy to address internal capacity deficits
- Develop a case for seeking external support for organisation development
- Monitor the progress of internal capacity-building initiatives based on an earlier organisational assessment
A full organisational assessment should be conducted every 3-5 years, with annual monitoring of progress on the development of the capacities which were prioritized for action in the organisational assessment. (The timing of the organisational assessment should be aligned with the office’s strategic planning cycle).
The RapidBI solution
RapidBI’s Business Improvement Review (BIR) was originally designed as a business improvement tool for use in SME’s (Small and medium sized enterprises) by Business Advisers of the UK government backed Business Link Organisation. After considerable success and working with Scottish Enterprise in Glasgow a not-for-profit (and social economy) version was developed and run with many organisations.
Lessons were learnt and the Business Improvement Review has now been adapted that it is appropriate for all organisations.
To find out how the Business Improvement review can help your organisation please contact us