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#996: Being Thorough in Your Diagnosis

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Friday, February 27, 2009
If solid diagnosis is the foundation for effective organizational change, what is a good way to structure my recommendations?

There is no excuse for sloppy description of an otherwise solid diagnosis. How you present your results affects how well they are understood, accepted and implemented. One good way is how many financial analyses and audits are presented:
  • Material Weakness - a description of the facts in evidence that bear attention by management.
  • Cause of Condition - the source of the material condition and why this condition exists (and what the recommendation seeks to alleviate).
  • Effect - how this condition affects the organization's core needs or performance, in effect the reason you are recommending the organization address this as a priority.
  • Recommendation - what actions the organization should take to eliminate the effect and prevent reoccurrence of weakness.
One of the real benefits of this approach is its ability to clearly document your diagnosis for future use. When consultants make recommendations for their clients, everyone usually understands the implications at the time they are made. However, six months or a few years later, the nuances of your findings and recommendations are lost. This format should help make the value of your diagnosis last.

Tip: This format will help you be very clear about the subtleties of your findings and recommendations. Propose a specific format, with a few examples, of how you will characterize your diagnosis, and review with your client.

© 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  assessment  communication  recommendations 

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