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How do you decide what performance problems to address, where might be the greatest payoff for a solution, and how to go about addressing it?  These are the questions addressed in needs or opportunity analysis. Needs analysis is a bread-and-butter activity for HR, training, and other performance professionals.

By other names, it is also what executives and managers do when they assess the performance of their organizations or teams and decide how to intervene for greatest impact.

The Six Boxes Approach provides tools for more results-oriented analysis. By using the Performance Chain to pinpoint valuable work outputs and their links to business results, we can focus on what really delivers value to the organization. By identifying behavior that contributes to outputs, and looking for gaps between actual and desired results, we can identify what needs to change. Finally, by using the Six Boxes Model to investigate both obstructions and enablers of performance, we can decide on the most cost-effective ways to close gaps or accelerate performance to new levels.

The results of a performance-focused needs analysis include more cost-effective interventions and management decisions likely to increase the return on investments.  Six Boxes analysis has led to programs and strategies that have markedly improved productivity and customer satisfaction, often while reducing costs. The Six Boxes Approach allows us to conduct less time-consuming analyses that result in more effective interventions.

Performance professionals learn needs analysis in the Six Boxes Application Program, and Managers learn a lean version of such analysis in Six Boxes Management Development. When Organization Mapping is added to a Performance Strategy Planning Session, executives and senior managers can apply Six Boxes opportunity analysis at the strategic level.

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