OEI has compiled tools that you may find useful in your organizational strategic planning and improvement efforts. The tools are often times applicable to many different situations, but are organized according to phase you are working on (see above graphic on Continuous Process Improvement).
Transforming a large, complex, organization requires well planned change efforts. Effective change management occurs at institutional, work group, and individual levels. The following handout discusses several change models: Managing Change Handout
The language of process improvement and organizational development is specific, so we are providing a Glossary of Terms for your use: Glossary
- Assess the Organization
1.An organization must evaluate its core services, goals and measures of success on a consistent basis in order to ensure employee and customer needs are being met, that decisions are made with overarching strategic goals in mind and that the organization's practices, work and culture are aligned with its mission, vision and values.
- Strategic Planning Checklist
- Surveys -
- Value Chain Analysis is a strategic prioritization tool that you can use to discover how you can create the greatest possible value for your stakeholders.
- SWOT analysis is a tool you can use to assess internal strengths and weaknesses and external threats and opportunities. A writeable template for your use is here.
- PEST Analysis is a tool you can use to understand the external political, economic, socio-cultural and technological environment in which you operate. A writeable template for your use is here.
- Critical Success Factors is a tool you can use to identify the things that really matter in order to be successful.
- Criticality Analysis is a tool you can use in quality planning.
Strategic Planning is conducted to drive the organization’s future course. The planning process normally begins at the executive level and cascades throughout the organization, resulting in a strategic plan. Plans incorporate what the organization will do and achieve, how it will accomplish growth, and often includes a framework for assessing achievement. Strategic planning articulates these component pieces: mission, vision (long-term change), values, goals, objectives, and strategies.
- The Shield Exercise - Mission, Vision, Values, Goals
- Strategy Map Template
- Strategic Goals and Activities Template
- Decision Making Tools:
- Tools That Help Choose Among Options:
- Pareto Analysis is a simple technique for prioritizing possible changes by identifying the problems that will be resolved by making these changes
- Grid Analysis allows you to weigh different factors associated with each of the possible options.
- Paired Comparison Analysis is a tool used to weigh the importance of options relative to each other and can be used to make "apples to oranges" comparisons.
- A Decision Selection Matrix may be used to help identify the decisions or solutions that are the most viable, assist in selecting a problem to work on, weigh alternatives, develop process steps, or select service features that are the most valuable
- Tools to Help Make a Go/No-Go Decision:
- Financial Decision Tools:
- Cost benefit analysis adds up the value of the benefits of a course of action, and subtracts the costs associated with that course of action.
Implementing the strategies created in the prior step requires commitment to continuous process improvement and involves staff at all levels. A variety of tools can be utilized to help identify, analyze and prioritize goals and directions aligned with the organization's strategic mission, vision and high-level goals.
- Increasing organizational effectiveness requires that you OVER-communicate. Use every existing communication vehicle to get your vision and improvement programs out and shared on a continual basis. Lead the charge and educate through initial and on-going communications at all levels. The Implementing Communications Tool has tips on determining who will communicate what to whom, when and how often
- An organization's policies arise out of goals and objectives and reflect the rules governing the implementation of an organization's processes. Well-written policies communicate clear expectations of the organization. The Policy Template can assist you in writing policies for your organization. A blank writeable policy form for your use can be found here.
- Project Management Tools - under construction
- Project Portfolio Administration:
- The Project Prioritization Model can be used to decide how to prioritze multiple projects. (To use, click "Enable Editing" when the model opens.)
Group participation and process tools:
- Brainstorming is a popular tool that helps you generate many new, creative ideas.
- Reverse Brainstorming is another tool to generate more creative ideas by asking how the problem could be created.
- Green-Lighting is a form of structured brainstorming.
- Starbursting is a type of brainstorming that generates questions rather than answers. A writeable Starbursting template for your use is here.
- An Affinity Diagram is a useful tool for organizing ideas into common themes.
- The Stepladder Technique is a useful tool for group decision-making.
- The Delphi Technique is a voting technique used to narrow the results of a brainstorming session and is effective for controversial issues or when a team cannot come to an agreement.
- Multi-Voting is an alternative to, and is similar to the Delphi Technique.
- Mind MapsTM is a powerful note taking technique that stresses relationships between concepts and their relative importance.
- Process Mapping Flow Charts diagram how steps work in a process as a way to understand and improve the process.
- Stakeholder Analysis is a methodology for building stakeholder support for projects.
Problem solving tools:
- Cause and Effect Analysis can be used to help identify the likely causes of problems.
- Root Cause Analysis helps identify why a problem occurred at all.
- The 5 Whys is a problem-solving technique used to get at the root of a problem quickly.
- Plan-Do-Check-Act is a useful tool in implementing a pilot project.
Ongoing measurement is an essential part of the improvement process. The results of implementing the plan must be measured in order to evaluate the degree to which the plan and its implementation have been successful. Ongoing measurement is also essential to continue to monitor effectiveness and as a part of continuous improvement. Evaluate effectiveness by measuring facts and results. Avoid qualitative statements requiring reader’s interpretation. Good measurements help organizations quickly improve.
- Metrics Development Template This is a writeable form for your use.
- Balanced Scorecard Template
- Cost of Quality Analysis is a tool that can be used to track waste or loss from a defined process, or to compare 2 or more different processes
- Control Charts are a feedback tool that can be used to evaluate the type and amount of variation in a process
Changing and improving an organization is not a one-time project. It is a dynamic, continuous process that requires time and attention. Once the strategic plan is written, more effective processes are in place, and/or cost cutting measures have been taken, the work of sustaining, normalizing, measuring, motivating and communicating must continue. All of the tools presented in the other sections are relevant in this effort as well. It is vital to keep re-evaluating and reassessing; measurement should occur at least annually. Sustaining success requires continual monitoring, measuring and improvement.