Get the Most from Your Assessments [Lessons from the Road]

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 10-10-13

I have performed a lot of assessments over the years. If done right, they’re actually quite exhausting. You’re trying to absorb everything you are hearing, seeing, not seeing, while trying to follow a process, draw conclusions, and generate next questions. But when done well, and received openly, they can provide tremendous value because they help an organization determine where they really need to focus to gain the most leverage.

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In this month’s IndustryWeek Lessons from the Road column, I focus on how to get value from your assessments: Get the Most from Your Assessments. Here is an excerpt:

1. Define the purpose. Before you start signing up resources and setting dates, define what you are trying to accomplish. Are you trying to accelerate your lean efforts? Are you trying to build tension in a complacent organization? Are you trying to find your strengths to build on and share across the company? Don’t do an assessment just because it’s what people do in a lean journey, or some consultant offered you a “free assessment.”

Reflection question: How has your organization utilized assessment? What has worked best for you? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.


  • Great article! We used an assessment at the beginning of our journey to create a baseline of where the current state was at. We just crossed the 1 year mark and performed the same assessment to see if we have improved, and plan on using this tool yearly to do the same thing.

    As you stated, its not perfect, but if completed openly and honestly it does provide great information to act on!

    Dave October 10, 2013 at 12:43 pm
  • Thank you Dave.

    Yes, that’s a very good way to use assessments. It’s not the goal, but it is a measuring stick to help evaluate whether you’re making progress on your way towards the goal.

    Jamie Flinchbaugh October 10, 2013 at 1:12 pm