Creating an Assessment Plan Using Flowcharts

“Unless strategy evaluation is performed seriously and systematically, and unless strategists are willing to act on the results, energy will be used up defending yesterday.” – Peter Drucker

The term ‘assessment‘, also known as ‘evaluation‘, ‘rating‘, and ‘appraisal‘, has gained wide currency in the variegated domains that define and distinguish modern civilization. Essentially a post facto exercise, an assessment seeks to develop a qualitative view of a sequence of actions undertaken to achieve the goals of a project. Therefore, an assessment plan implies a set of actions designed to evaluate a given undertaking that has attained completion. Such plans, and their calibrated application, are necessary to elevate the quality of future outcomes, detect the locations of improvement inside processes and sub-processes, boost the performance of efforts applied to an undertaking, reduce wasted effort, and decipher specific locations that can elevate the (qualitative and quantitative) impacts of invested resources. Assessors must design the outlines and content of an assessment plan inside appropriate structures, such as flowcharts and allied diagrams. Such a technique can help generate an intelligent, systematic thrust to planned assessments, allow for evaluation at multiple levels, and provide a blueprint for plotting extensions to current editions of an assessment plan.

An intelligently designed assessment plan for a technological platform can emerge in the form of a value chain analysis depicted inside a flowchart. The primary planks of such analysis can focus on the development of digital infrastructure, addressable market segments of said platform, procurement processes of merchandise, the various aspects of the platform’s operations, service standards, and marketing and sales activities. Assessors can develop separate spaces inside the flowchart in a bid to assess and quantify the impact of above elements on commercial markets, the natural environment, human society, the technological landscape, the impact of disruption, the prevalent mood in terms of consumer preferences, etc. Such an assessment plan when operated by market regulators helps evaluate the multiple efficacies propounded by the platform. From an investor’s perspective, the plan can act as a precursor to decisions that could direct fresh rounds of investment to said enterprise.

E-commerce operators could develop an assessment plan prior to establishing a formal operational presence in certain markets. Such a plan must essentially emerge as an evaluation as to whether the market is amicable to digital sales mechanisms, the scope of implementing the necessary shifts within the organization, an outline of additional responsibilities that must be undertaken by the leadership of said operator, the resources that must be shared with new heads of digital business initiatives, appropriate alterations in business requirements, risk contours that will likely emerge with the planned foray into new market segments, etc. These elements, when positioned inside a flowchart, can empower the business operator to develop a narrative of modern commerce and launch micro-assessments (of said elements) with a view to qualify and refine a range of approaches, actions, and undertakings. We note such an assessment plan prepares the organization to embark on new business ventures with the aim of sharpening its competitive edge.

The modern business enterprise must work to enhance efficiencies and reduce operational expenses in a bid to retain the competitive edge in increasingly complex business environments. Such a stance necessitates the creation of an assessment plan that seeks to evaluate the performance of existing supply chain mechanisms. When devised inside a flowchart-based illustration, an early edition of such plans could help target entrepreneurial energies on reducing the consumption of energy that attends the transit of merchandise and lowering the costs of labor by implementing automation-driven systems and processes. A second layer of assessment emerges when the business operator evaluates alternatives that offer the best solution to the above scenarios. Such efforts can create dense ganglia of stages, sub-stages, and intervening actions that find visual representation inside the flowchart. Analysts and strategists could evaluate the outcomes to crystallize definitive recommendations that aid the sponsor to attain the stated objectives.

Entrepreneurs in the quick service restaurant (QSR) industry could develop an assessment plan as part of efforts to break new ground in profitable enterprise. Such an action can be premised on entrepreneurial resolve to offer consumers brand new value propositions through QSR outlets. Pursuant to the plan, QSR startups could assess the present state of restaurant decor, the use of space, functionality, customer service, quality of food served, price points, promotional offers, variety of menu items, take-away options, etc. Flowchart-based diagrams can drive these assessments and assist entrepreneurs locate avenues for improvement and adjudge the scope for injecting novelty in expanding conventional concepts of consumer choice. We note such an assessment plan, when processed intelligently, can drive efforts to establish new benchmarks in the QSR industry, thereby establishing the value of disruption in modern markets. When appended with numbers emanating from the industry, the flowchart can help create projections that could attract the attentions of investors, thereby inaugurating a virtuous cycle that hinges on business innovation.

An exceptional SWOT analysis could help develop the sinews of an assessment plan for an operator in the knowledge services industry. Pursuant to this stance, said operator could extend the strengths of the organization by effecting key changes in the work culture and business practices endorsed by the organization. The changes could manifest in the form of dedicated timelines for each task assigned to associates and analysts, reducing the scope of interruption emanating from digital-powered devices, evolving new paradigms to drive co-operation and collaboration among members of the workforce, an enhanced and renewed focus on driving client delight, the intelligent application of effort to fast-track new projects, etc. These outcomes of an assessment, when designed into the expansive spaces of a modern flowchart, could result in re-calibrations that renew organizational energies to thrive in evolving market environments. In addition, implementing the outcomes of such an assessment plan can emerge as a standard annual exercise that boosts the commercial fortunes of the sponsor enterprise.

Certain business gurus aver, “The most sustained profitable growth stems from a systematic, disciplined approach to expand the boundaries of a core business into adjacent spaces.” Pursuant to this, an FMCG behemoth could fashion an assessment plan of its product portfolio with the intent to conceptualize and bring to market new categories of products. Some operators could leverage such a stance to expand the business footprint to new geographies, while others may choose to revitalize existing brands with additional new products. However, the proposed plan must include points of analyses such as the intensity of competition in new product segments, threats posed by substitute products and services, the number of potential consumers for new products, barriers to entry, the bargaining power of suppliers, the scope for innovation in ancillary product lines, etc. In addition, plans must include spaces to promote the best use of technology and IT systems in pursuit of overarching objectives.

This analysis and exploration encourage readers to devise assessment plans through spaces afforded by inter-connected illustrations such as flowcharts. Analysts and designers must invest effort to implement clarity of thought and build a comprehensive list of stages and sub-stages to drive success in such ventures. Each plan (and its outcomes) must undergo rigorous analysis as part of efforts to validate the contents of such diagrams. Reviewers could use additional spaces to record perspectives and comments. These actions can generate downstream effects that output long-term gains for the stewards and operators of the modern business organization.

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