What is a Future State Analysis?

Once a current state analysis has been completed, and the challenges and suggestions for improvements of staff have been collated, the next step is to determine what a future state for the organisation may look like.  The extent and timeframe for the future state are all dependent on the management appetite for change and the degree of scope that there is available.

The first step with this information is to group it into nice to haves, very nice to haves and must haves.  These groupings begin to prioritise and order what will get the best return on investment of time and money.  Butterfly flying on blue, Michele Gennoe, On Purpose ConsultingIt is also important to look at this list in terms of what each of the staff have identified as what may be important to them.  For example something suggested by someone in Finance may be less important to someone in Marketing and vice versa.  The organisationally critical changes for all areas will become more obvious as these will be the common ones across departments.

Analysing what has been suggested and then doing some preliminary high level cost and benefit estimates can also help to keep some of what has been suggested, and the discussions around it, based in reality.  Some basic data modelling at this stage can also assist in determining what quantitative changes can give the best results.  For example, sometimes getting extra clients at the current product or service price points can push operational requirements to the next level and then the overall return on each client goes down.

Another important component of analysing suggestions is what the staff perception is of each of these changes.  Perception can be more important than reality in socially influencing staff to embrace and support changes.  If there are some changes that are perceived to be critical and these are not seen to be included in discussions and evaluations then staff may feel unheard and unappreciated.

Using a matrix to evaluate the costs, benefits, prioritisations, staff perceptions, risks, and other variables that are relevant to the company, then the important components of a future state can be determined.