The scope of our needs assessment service varies depending on the level of detail needed in the final deliverable. For example, a needs assessment for a strategic technology plan can be conducted at a higher level than one for an RFP.
A needs assessment typically starts with an all-staff anonymous survey administered online. This is followed by departmental questionnaires, where staff in the same functional area collaborate on a group response. ISCG consultants use the feedback from the survey and questionnaire responses to prepare for in-person interviews with each functional area. The interviews involve staff, the executive team, and sometimes constituents (chapter leaders, committee or board members, etc.).
In an AMS, LMS, or Website selection project, the purpose of the interviews is to explore the role a new system should play in serving members and meeting the organization’s strategic goals. In particular, the following topics are discussed:
- High-level objectives for the new system
- Detailed requirements for the new system
- Business process workflows, with an emphasis on those that are inefficient or not meeting the organization’s strategic objectives
- Ideas for business process improvements, where opportunities exist for improving customer service, productivity, and marketing capabilities
- Integrations with third party systems
- Reporting requirements
- Strengths and weaknesses of the current environment
One of the objectives of a needs assessment is to define the gap between the capabilities of your existing systems/procedures and your business needs. Only then can a plan be developed to bridge the gap.
The deliverable resulting from the needs assessment may take different forms depending on the specific purpose of the assessment: a detailed RFP in the case of a system selection project, a set of recommendations and action plan in the case of a technology audit, or documented workflow diagrams with recommended improvements in the case of a business process change initiative.