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The 5 Step Organisational Development (O.D.) Process

O.D. or Organisational Development is a rather grey area, with few understanding what it truly involves and how it differs from HR. The simple 5-step Organisational Development (O.D.) process outlined below should shed light on its key role within an organisation.

The process is as follows:

1. Identify the needs of the organisation

Step one is about identifying the organisations current processes and skills and then comparing these to where it wants/needs to be. This should be done in a structured way and be given some serious thought. For example, it could be forecasting a significant number of retirements within 5-10 years. This would leave a huge gap within the organisation. Alternatively, it could be acknowledging requirements for a different skillset to keep up with technologies and remain competitive. So, it is about identifying risk and deciding how to deal with it. The use of diagnostic tools such as PESTLE Analysis for strategic planning or conducting a SWOT Analysis can help to make the process robust and objective.

2. Decide on how to address those needs

Step two looks at addressing the needs that have been identified. The key is to be as objective as possible and to think carefully about the various solutions before selecting any. Looking at the various options before selecting one is key, as we are often criticised for jumping in at the first solution. There are a number of framework standards that are quite useful to help benchmark against, for example, the ISO framework or Investors in People, that provide another set of questions to evaluate your organisation against.

In addition, you may wish to look at McKinsey’s 7-S Model or Burke Litwin’s O.D. process model where you can analyse how everything interrelates within your organisation in order to decide what the outputs are you’re trying to achieve and align the interventions against them.

3. Select your intervention

The CIPD identifies four types of interventions and you may do one or more of these:

Human: Coaching people, carrying out training programmes, getting people to work in groups or facilitating teams of people to do things differently.

Business: Including Business Process Engineering and Lean Six Sigma.

HR: Looking at performance management processes, using psychometrics to identify personality types and evaluate your workforce.

Strategic Processes Interventions: These could include transformation programmes or cultural change.

4. Implement the intervention

We would recommend that at this stage you take a structured approach to delivering the change because that is where all too often we don’t do the change well because it isn’t thought through properly. It isn’t just about starting the change, it is about making sure that it is well-managed. This isn’t easy to do, and is a topic we have covered in other blogs and is talked about on The HR Uprising Podcast series: The 5 Secret Powers Of A Change Superhero

5. Evaluating the impact

The final important stage is to evaluate the change. So, if we’re managing it effectively from the start, where we are identifying the needs and gaps, then we should have clear goals on what we are trying to achieve as a result of the initiative or change.

Often we don’t stop to reflect and ask, how did we do? Did we achieve the outcome we wanted? Do we need to do more? What else do we need to learn? These are all critical questions we should be asking as part of the 5-step O.D. Process.

For more information on Organisational Development, why not read another blog on this topic below or listen to The HR Uprising Podcast episode The Art Of Demystifying O.D.

Burke Litwin Model of Change Image

Blog: Understanding the term ‘O.D.’

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