When your body is suffering from an illness, first you diagnose the symptoms, then you take the medicine to cure it. Similarly, you must do the same for your business: if you don’t check what is lacking right now, what holds you back, you won’t know how to define the growth path.
Where should the business head to? How can we reach there? When? Is there a realistic time frame? Do we have the resources needed? If the vision and strategy are clear, then we go for understanding what the barriers can be.
The following tools and techniques are very useful in identifying and analyzing the business challenging and slowing-down factors:
It is used when conducting a strategic analysis or doing market research, it gives an overview of the different macro-environmental factors to be taken into consideration when growing the business. It is a strategic tool for understanding the market growth or decline, business position, potential, and direction for operations. It focuses on Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, and Legal external factors that affect the business.
This analysis is a strategic management technique that is being used to help a business to identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats related to business competition. This technique can be used as a tool for the evaluation of the strategic position of the business. It is intended to clear the internal and external factors that are positively or negatively affecting to the achievement of the objectives of the business. Strengths and Weaknesses are for internal factors while Opportunities and Threats are for external factors.
3. Five Whys
These questions are commonly used to reveal the root cause for a problem by keep asking why five times. The process starts out with a clearly identified problem and then keeps asking why things happened until the true root of the issue has been discovered.
This approach is the prioritization technique used to put the hierarchy for the tasks and objectives within any time-framed project. By brainstorming and agreeing on the Must non-negotiable tasks, the Should -important initiatives but not that vital, the Could have initiatives that have a smaller impact and the Wish initiatives that are not a priority for this specific time frame.
5. Six Thinking Hats
Dr. Edward de Bono explains that the human brain thinks in a number of distinct ways which can be deliberately challenged, and hence planned the six thinking hats tool to be used in a structured way allowing one to develop tactics for thinking about particular issues.
The idea of the six hats approach is that by focusing on a particular thinking hat at any one time, the group tends to be more collaborative than if one person is reacting emotionally (Red hat) while another person is trying to be objective (White hat) and still another person is being critical of the points which emerge from the discussion (Black hat). The hats aid individuals in addressing problems from a variety of angles, and focus individuals on deficiencies in the way that they approach problem-solving.
These tools and techniques and many more are used intensively in the business performance analysis to see clearly the barriers preventing or challenging the business growth. Practicing these approaches can lead to an understanding of how to re-evaluate the operations and clear the development path from any obstacles. Finally, as a business owner, you will have a clear picture of how we can then tackle these obstacles, coordinate and advise on further management and execution plan.
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