What is the state of my organization, and how do I compare it against best-in-class organizations?

Is my organization set up to foster innovation and release new products?

If you’ve asked yourselves these questions, the Operational Assessment Canvas is for you.

When we go through a digital transformation project, we often assess the organization’s readiness for success. We might also ask:

  • How can I optimize my organization for greater efficiency?
  • Is my organization able to compete in a market where startups are faster and more nimble at getting new ideas into the market?
  • Where is my organization losing efficiency and revenue?
  • What would happen to my organization if a process of disruption erupted and we had to react quickly?
  • Is there a disconnect between our goals and what the organization can support?
  • Would my organization be a good acquisition?

Too often, there are siloes, disconnects between goals and organizational structure, or ideas that are not aligned with the market or not understood by the rest of the organization standing in the way.  Frequently, projects are launching without any understanding of the impact it will have on the organization as a whole. 

These siloed projects are one of the major points of failure for digital transformation. The project is defined, built, and launched – and never gets used.

When embarking on a large project, we must always be fully aware of the implications it will have on the overall business and set up for it. 

Considering the needs of private equities firms, it is important to be able to provide the right assessment as to why or why not an acquisition makes sense for them, as well. 

At Method, we developed the Operational Assessment Canvas to help organizations assess the right elements. 

Note that this operational canvas can be used to assess current state and to paint a picture of the future state business.

Goals & KPIs: Long-term vision

  • What is the company’s mission & vision?
  • How do we measure success against that?
  • What is our golden metric, or what would everyone say is the most important?

Value Proposition: Market differentiators

  • What are the company’s strengths and weaknesses?
  • How can we alleviate weaknesses and make our company stand out from the competition? 
  • What are all the elements of differentiation (price, brand…)?
  • How do customers perceive the company? What do they expect from us?

Organization structure: Workforce

  • What is the org chart? How many people are in each group?
  • What skill sets will help us succeed in the future?

Market forces: Competition

  • What are we competing for?
  • Who are our key competitors?
    • Direct
    • Indirect
    • Substitutes
  • How are they competing with us?
  • Why are they winning when/if they do?

Sales channels & marketing tactics: Ways to generate sales

  • How are products being sold?
  • Which channels are we  present in? Which messages are we using for each channel?
  • How efficient are we on each channel? (# of followers, # of engagements, CTR, OR, # visits, # of returning customers, LTV, AOV, etc.)
  • Which marketing tactics are we using? (Affiliates, PPC, CPA, SEO, etc.)

Technology systems and architecture: Technologies supporting the organization

  • Which systems are we using?
  • How is our infrastructure set up?
  • What expertise do we have?
  • Are we using third parties to manage any infrastructure and systems?

Business model & product offering: Financial viability of the business

  • What is our current offering?
  • At what price are we selling our product?
  • How many customers do we have?
  • How many units are we selling?
  • How are our products being sold?
  • What is our margin?
  • What is our current income statement?
  • Did we envision introducing a new business model? If so, which one?

We need to know where we are coming from to understand where we are headed. This canvas aims to do just that. Understanding the current state and where your company is weak will help you make the right investment decisions for the organization’s future. 

How can you use it?

Scenario #1: I have a clear view of my end goal.

  1. Define the goals.
  2. Define what it would mean if we had 100% of the elements required to achieve those goals.
  3. Assess the gap between existing state and goals. 

Scenario #2: I do not know how to get to my goal.

  1. Define the goals.
  2. Apply the elements from a best-in-class organization.
  3. Assess the gap between the best-in-class and the goals. 

Scenario #3: I am at the beginning of the forming process to reinvent myself.

  1. Answer each question for each area of assessment.
  2. Get a picture of where you stand.
  3. Identify areas you think you can get better at.

In any case, operational assessments are part of what we do at Method and this canvas is one of our tools. Embarking through a transformation process demands to first understand where we stand. We can only build a strong strategy if we know where we are coming from and the variables we can play with. Many of our offerings do involve an operational assessment of some sort. Feel free to reach out if you’re interested in working with us!