Options and choices
An assessment of the organisation's environment will produce a
number of options and choices. These options and choices need to be
explored so that informed decisions can be made about future
strategy and sustainability.
Most important at this stage is ensuring that what the
organisation is involved in terms of service delivery and
activities lies at the heart of what the organisation is all about.
Opportunites may seem like a good idea at the time, but if they
take you away from your core mission and values, then they will
distract you and may harm future sustainability.
You will need to think about priorities, feasibility
and risks. You are unlikely to do everything, so what should
you focus on? Are your plans achievable? Do you have sufficient
funds and resources? Are there any barriers? Moreover, are the
risks worth taking?
There are a wide range of tools that can help you at these
different stages. Some of them are explained here.
The findings from the organisation's assessment or environmental
analysis will identify what are the most pressing issues facing the
organisation. Whether it is a change in legislation or shift in
government policy, changing funding climate or simply an increase
in demand for the organisation's services. These all must be
prioritised to ensure that the organisation's mission is
Once the priorities have been established, you must now examine
the options available to achieving them and what the practical
implications of doing so maybe. The different options available to
the organisation may range from:
- Whether to provide additional services - in-house or
- Does the organisation require additional funding?
- Are new premises required or can existing space be used more
- Are there opportunities to diversify income?
- Do we need to recruit additional staff to enhance our
Whatever choices are made, a full risk assessment must be
undertaken to ensure that organisation is not over-exposed, in
terms of financial commitments and in its ability to deliver a
quality service to its users. Risk assessment lists, sorts and
ranks risk according to importance and level of danger. By
understanding what could threaten your organisation's performance,
or even future sustainability, you can be better prepared to
minimise the impact of these risks.
Undertaking risk assessment can be done in many ways, depending
on what you intend to measure. A number of practical tools are
available to enable an organisation to undertake a full and
detailed risk assessment.