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Organizational Needs Analysis

By Project Management Research

Organizational Needs Analysis

In this article, you will evaluate the process of building your project idea. You want to make sure that your project supports your organization's mission, its audiences' needs, and its goals. We will use the following definitions for these key terms:

organization: the entity or collaborating entities that will plan and do the project; the entity could be departments or divisions within a larger institution mission: the overall purpose of the organization audiences: the individuals, groups, or institutions for which the organization's products or services are provided; examples include library patrons, museum visitors, other libraries, museums, or partner institutions goals: broad results the organization wants to achieve for its audiences

Connecting your project with the organization's role will help you acquire and maintain the necessary support for implementing and sustaining the results of the project. You will need the commitment of decision makers who allocate personnel, material, and financial resources to projects.

One effective way to ensure the link between your organization and your project is to conduct an analysis of the organization's needs. By needs analysis, we mean the systematic process of identifying the gap between what you want to achieve for your audience (or product or service), on the one hand, and the current state (of the audience, product or service), on the other, and determining appropriate solutions to close the gap.

At the end of this unit, you will be able to perform the following tasks:

determine the types of data you want to collect about one or more of your organization's audiences, products or services, including the gap between the result you want to achieve and the current state or condition collect and analyze the data select the most appropriate solution(s) to close the gap

Make sure that your needs analysis is regularly updated. The organization's environment and its audiences' needs will inevitably change over time. This situation means that you need to take into account the many political, economic, competitive, social, technological, demographic, and legal forces that can affect the organization's audiences and its other stakeholders. In addition to analyzing the external environment, it is important to understand the organization's internal environment--the resources and capacities the organization brings to the work of its mission.

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