Why It’s Smart to Do an Assessment & Develop a Strategy Before an Implementation

When identifying an area that could be improved upon in your business, it’s probably your natural inclination to hurry up, fix it and move on, right? We all agree time is money when you’re running a company- but more times than not, jumping the gun and skipping an assessment and/or developing proper short and long-term strategy can cost you more time and money down the road. An “as-is” analysis (a.k.a. an assessment) helps define the current state of the business process in an organization- kinks and all.

“It’s like knowing you have a problem (where you are), knowing where you want to go (to-be) but not understanding the most efficient way to get there – knowledge that as-is analysis could easily provide,” says Abidemi Stephanie Famuyide of Business Analyst Learnings blog.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

Lincoln’s quote is a perfect summation of why investing time and research into an assessment and short and long-term strategy first is vital in a successful and sustainable implementation plan. An example of a short-term strategy could be something along the lines of how to gain more social media “followers” in the next 3 months. A long-term strategy could be exactly how you plan to increase your market share over the next 24 months.

Here are three more reasons why assessments and strategies are important:

  1. Where is Your Starting Point for Change– Completing an assessment will show you the current state of your organization, and will help unveil the areas for improvement- but the bigger question is “where do you start?” Should the change come from the very top? The communications department? Sales department? An analysis will help you identify this.
  2. To Identify Other Problem Areas– Maybe you thought you only had a marketing problem. Instead of just fixing that area, a thorough as-is analysis will uncover other areas needing improvement. Again- this will save you time down the road and create a well-rounded, comprehensive strategy and implementation plan.
  3. Give Yourself the 100ft. View– “Let’s imagine you’re visiting a city for the first time – how do you know if the quickest way to get to your destination is by bus, train or simply walking? By taking a look at where you are on the map (as-is analysis),” says Famuyide. Along the way you may also realize areas that could be streamlined or combined to make processes more efficient.

An assessment doesn’t have to take long, painful months to complete. But giving it the time and laser-like focus in the beginning will surely pay off in the end with a successful, implementation plan put in motion.