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A needs analysis


A needs analysis helps identify your issues and their potential impact. The larger or more complex the initiative you have in mind, the more likely you are to benefit from undertaking a needs analysis before deciding on a plan or course of action.

Your investigation should help you to fully understand what it is you are trying to address. You should find out:

  • The issues
  • Influencing factors
  • The options
  • Affected stakeholders

Questions worth asking

  • What is driving the need for a response?
  • What else is already available or on the horizon?
  • What do others think and want?
  • What are the possible ways of responding to this need?


  • Consulting widely pays dividends
  • Challenge your own assumptions about what the ‘problem’ is and how to solve it
  • Focus on understanding first and justifying second
  • Be willing to change your mind


At the end of this process, your organisation should have the information and insight to decide whether to go ahead with the initial idea, change it, replace it or abandon it.

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