This needs assessment
structure will help you and your team narrow the gap between the way
things currently are and what you think they should be.
Perhaps you are looking for better results, better performance,
better standards, or better procedures.
In short, this needs assessment process should help you build a
meaningful game plan to achieve meaningful outcomes.
the five steps in this needs assessment structure to fit your specific
concerns and issues.
One: Identifying the Need
team members individually write down on sticky notes a pressing team
problem, issue, or need. Individuals
can focus on current, existing needs or impending needs that they
believe should be addressed in the short term.
Post all of the sticky notes and allow team members to review
them. Combine, narrow, and
rank the needs. As
a team select the need that is the most pressing.
Two: Clarifying the Need
the team address the following clarification questions:
Why does this need have to be addressed?
What will happen if we don’t address it?
How widespread is this need or issue, how
long has it been a problem, and how has it impacted our team or the
What evidence or data do we have
concerning this issue?
Is this an issue that our team can
actually correct or improve?
Three: Root Causes of the Problem
order to take productive improvement actions, it is important to
understand the root causes of the current or impending problem.
Discuss the following “root cause” questions:
How did this issue come about and what
To what extent is this a performance
issue? A structural/process issue? A financial issue? A
knowledge/training issue? A resources issue? A personnel issue? An
Identify Possible Solutions and/or Interventions
as a full team or in smaller groups identify possible solutions to
address the need. Complete
the following items for each suggested solution or intervention:
Define the solution specifically
Explain how the solution addresses the
root causes of the problem.
Identify the resources and tools required
for the solution.
Identify individuals or groups that must
be involved in the solution or that can help with the solution?
Clarify how the solution fits with team
and organizational goals?
Identify indicators of success.
In other words, how will the team know if the solution is
Prioritizing and Taking the Next Step
the team digest and discuss all of the possible solutions.
Then prioritize the solutions and decide which will be
implemented. Be sure to
assign a person to shepherd each solution, establish timelines, identify
progress milestones, and determine how you will assess the effectiveness
of the solution.