Consequential thought methodology
1 July 2016
The consequential thought methodology and the logical model are increasingly gaining popularity in many organizations as tools for effectively planning projects, missions or organizational processes. The world of KM is not an exception to this phenomenon. Much has been written and spoken of this model's advantages and simple charm. This article will focus on the other side of the KM project, i.e. the evaluation and assessment stage, and explain how the logical model is of assistance at this stage as well.
Generally speaking, consequential thinking (the logical model included) involve reverse thinking. The starting point of this methodology requires understanding the need and as a result- the result we wish to reach (including intermediate objectives). Only after these were clearly defined do we go back and analyze the components required in order to attain this goal: who is the target audience, what are the relevant characteristics of this target audience, what are the activities required in order to achieve the desired result and what are the required resources.
The logical method's foundation itself encompasses a contribution that can be utilized when managing a KM project during the evaluation and assessment stage, which is: an in-depth and precise definition of the project's objective. This is unfortunately not a trivial matter. It is not uncommon for one to encounter organizational processes planned and implemented while it is unclear what problem they are intended to solve, to what change that will benefit the workers are they supposed to lead, or what are they meant to achieve at all. Obviously, without knowing the objective it is nearly impossible to evaluate success (since it depends on comparing our "ought" and "is"). It is even more difficult to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of our work method and performance.
Yet, the logical model offers even more. In order to plan the project correctly, and in order to be able to able to perform said evaluation process, it is recommended to break the process into interim goals and final goals. For each goal, we will define what is considered success. For example, regarding interim goals success could be considered the target audience becoming aware of the KM solution and its purpose (a goal related to an awareness-oriented change). An example of a "final result success" could be a behavioral change or solving the problem which led to creating/applying this solution in the first place (a goal related to a behavioral change).
Furthermore, we must define the means by which we will define said success in attaining our goals. The logical model adds on the ability to evaluate not only the KM solution but the project itself. It also allows us to analyze the different moves made in order to reach each goal and gain the required resources.
Some questions that can be useful include:
Was the resource X used as planned in terms of time, cost and/or quality?
Was activity Y performed as planned in terms of time, cost and/or quality?
Did activity Z lead to the desired results?
In conclusion, it can be said that the logical model's main advantage regarding the assessment and evaluation stage of a KM project is that it leads to an optimal definition of the projects goals and the means to achieve them, breaks the project evaluation into stages and allows performing changes, alterations or adaptations along the way as well as enables recognizing elements in the process which haven't led to the their designated resulted in a sufficiently efficient manner.