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The Assessment Dilemma : Part III - Characteristics of a Good Methodology
By Jonathan Narducci, Narducci Enterprises

Since an assessment process is in itself a strategic initiative, it has to be designed and implemented carefully to fit the goal that each benefit can provide. It may be possible to use the same evaluation to gain multiple benefits but it must be designed to do so.

Since an assessment process is in itself a strategic initiative, it has to be designed and implemented carefully to fit the goal that each benefit can provide. It may be possible to use the same evaluation to gain multiple benefits but it must be designed to do so.

Any methodology has to be designed to assess the business' "competitive value assets" that are important to effectively implement a business' strategies; assets such as those used to understand customer needs and turn them into knowledge, those used to create value, and those needed to deliver value.

In other words, it should be designed with this in mind: Successful businesses know that it takes more than product and price to create loyal, successful customers.

A good competitive asset assessment methodology will have the following traits:

  • A champion - someone who has a vested interest in gathering information about the enterprises' competitive assets - to sponsor and promote each assessment undertaken.
  • It's fast and efficient to implement. It asks the right questions of the right people about the right assets.
  • Someone with no agenda with respect to the results facilitates or monitors the process; someone who can ask probing questions, and who can keep the process from going down the proverbial "rat hole."
  • The methodology has a framework that makes it easy to understand, implement and highlights the direction the business is taking. It reminds the participants about what assets exist and need to exist.
  • It's focused on getting information in order to answer specific questions. Questions like: "What are my critical issues? What's should be on my worry list?" "Will the strategies I want to implement work?" "Is my company's vision and mission on target?" "What do I know and don't know about the entire enterprise?" "Can I uncover and take advantage of new value opportunities?" "How can my company be different?" and "What do I need to change?"
  • The people in the organization - management, employees, partners, and customers - will be primarily responsible for identifying the strong and weak assets. The assessment is a collaborative effort.
  • The participants will excel at collaboration and critical thinking. The process supports the effective collection of participants' comments.
  • Methodology implementation takes into account, for example, time, people availability, and geographic constraints.
  • As much of the subjectivity as possible is taken out of the evaluation.
  • Assessments help uncover and highlight asset and people relationships, as well as the relationship implementing the assets have to customers' results.
  • Properly designed assessments help minimize emotion and politics and help put anecdotal evidence in perspective.
  • Results are easy to interpret and are supported with appropriate statistics and visual aids, leading to the root causes of problems and, for example, helps identify what to stop doing and what to say no to.
  • "Brainstorming" sessions helps lead the participants to identify future asset improvements and needs for company/customer success.
  • It helps uncover "unconventional" customer needs - value opportunities, those that are not necessarily related to existing products and services.
  • Assessments have five distinct steps: Setup, Evaluation, Analysis, Initiative Development and Planning, and Initiative Implementation.

Remember, the assessment can only be called successful if it results in initiatives and action plans that are implemented to produce solutions and value for our companies' and, more importantly, our customers' problems and needs.

Our businesses grow because we are successful at constantly looking for and finding out what we know about companies and our customers and, based on what we learn, improve our ability to effectively execute our strategies - creating value for our customers.

Competitive value asset assessments are the best way to find out what we need to know.



Jonathan Narducci uses his 30+ years of experience in business, management, and quality systems to lead international companies in their search to locate and implement the ideas that helps craft the business performance needed for the business results expected. For more information visit www.narduccienterprises.com

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