What is a Current State Analysis?

A current state analysis is the most critical activity any organisation can undertake.  By understanding where the organisation currently is then it can identify what are its current greatest risks, what is the timeframe it has to address these risks and opportunities that are available.

When an organisation decides to embark on some form of change the current state analysis forms a major part of the starting point as it gives the baseline from which all changes and adjustments to the organisation then stem from.  It provides the quantitative data and the qualitative cultural components which start to change as soon as they are named in the current state.Butterfly with lines and holes, Michele Gennoe, On Purpose Consulting

A key starting point in a current state analysis are the interviews and workshops which are undertaken to understand each of the organisational functions and to make out the processes, documents and systems used.  A core part of this stage is also the collection of challenges and suggestions which staffs explain whilst outlining their activities.

These challenges and suggestions form the underlying indicators of risks to the organisation and also the opportunities from the people that are closest to the activities themselves.  This is also a stage where any staff, sections or technology that missing can be identified as a gap.

Dependent on the timeframes available to conduct this stage it is also a time when in talking about risks and issues, and the solutions to these, some forms of unlimited opportunities can also be introduced.  The What If? Question can be very powerful in unleashing hidden potentials.  Imagine if the What If question had of been used in companies like Kodak what they could have evolved into instead of dying its slow death.

The use of the What If questions can also help to create high level conceptual models of what the future might look like.  And build enthusiasm in staff that the structures, dynamics and culture that currently exists can change, and may do so in the future.