Organizational Assessments in NGO organizations
What is Organizational Assessment?
An Organizational Assessment (OA) is an evaluation of an organization’s capacity and performance.
An Organizational Assessment covers the organization’s internal performance, relations and image; its performance in achieving its objectives, as well as its internal functioning and resources, role and strategy. The organization’s overall strengths, weaknesses and development needs can be identified through this process.
Organizational assessment is an essential first stage in a capacity building process that aims to develop healthy and resilient organizations that can effectively achieve their objectives
Why undertake an Organizational Assessment?
Organizational assessment is an essential activity in strengthening the capacity of an organization to more effectively achieve its goals. It’s 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 organizational assessment can itself build organizational 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 organization 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.
Organizational assessment can also be used as a monitoring framework for the organization to measure its progress and development over time.
In summary organizational assessment is an essential part of an internal capacity building process that helps an organization to take charge of its own development.
In a given organization 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 Organizational Assessment be used?
Organizational assessments can be used by any organization to:
- Take an organizational “health check” to ensure that the organization is effective, healthy and resilient.
- Clarify and further explore specific organizational challenges and problems in order to identify their root causes
- Identify organizational strengths and weaknesses
- Develop an internal capacity building strategy to address internal capacity deficits
- Develop a case for seeking external support for organization development
- Monitor the progress of internal capacity-building initiatives based on an earlier organizational assessment
A full organizational 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 organizational assessment. (The timing of the organizational 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 Organization. After considerable success and working with Scottish Enterprise in Glasgow a not-for-profit (and social economy) version was developed and run with many organizations.
Lessons were learnt and the Business Improvement Review has now been adapted and there is an appropriate version for all types of organization.
To find out how the Business Improvement Review can help your organization please contact us