Andrew Balmaks
Noetic Group

Noetic has observed an increasing appetite for ‘logic based’ solutions in our consulting to government organisations over the past 12 months. We have seen a number of organisations moving away from situations where ‘the loudest and most charismatic voice wins’ to one where decisions are made based on evidence-based logic. This applies to major change initiatives, strategic planning and investment decisions. The common denominator is a desire for what Noetic would call a ‘line of sight’; a need for organisations to justify their activity against organisational priorities and objectives. Noetic’s approach to obtaining this line of sight occurs through ‘logic mapping’, which identifies the logic for a proposed initiative based on tangible evidence of a business problem, and a proposed solution that will deliver identified business benefits.

…The logic mapping exercise was valuable in that it provided a holistic view of the program of work across each priority theme, including the ongoing work the Department does to achieve the outcomes. The Department will be using the final product in the business plan to allocate resources in the future…

Joann Corcoran, Assistant Secretary, Attorney General’s Department

Organisations have welcomed Noetic’s fresh approach of logic mapping because it results in a sophisticated, but readily understood graphical representation of the case for the change, strategy or investment, and a proposed solution. As the development of a logic map can be undertaken in a very short time (2-4 hours), all key stakeholders are generally able to collectively contribute to the process. This results in a significant advantage for organisations in gaining buy-in and developing a common understanding of the business problem, solution and benefits across a diverse set of stakeholders.

Logic mapping involves consideration of the following five key elements for any change initiative, strategic plan or investment decision:

  • Drivers. These are the reasons for undertaking the change, action or investment. Drivers tend to fall into the broad categories of a threat, risk or opportunity (i.e. the external pressures or forces that require a response from an organisation). Importantly, evidence is required to justify the driver—if no evidence exists there is no reason to progress further consideration.
  • Objectives. Objectives are the organisation’s response to the identified drivers. These are the high-level aims/goals/aspirations that if achieved, will ensure the initiative has adequately responded to the threat, risk or opportunity posed by the drivers.
  • Benefits. The benefits are the advantages gained by the organisation’s objectives being addressed. If an objective is satisfied, benefits will flow to either the organisation (enabling benefits) or external stakeholders (outcome benefits). Benefits must be real and measurable.
  • Business Changes. To achieve any benefits associated with the initiative, someone has to do something differently. That someone can be a member of the organisation or an external stakeholder. The something can be any activity that is performed.
  • Enablers. There must be an enabler that will lead to the realisation of a benefit. These are the actual outputs of the initiative under consideration.

The resultant logic map will be laid out in the format shown in the figure below. Percentage weightings are generally applied to each of the drivers, objective and benefits. They allow assumptions to be challenged and test whether the investment is reasonable in relation to the identified business changes and enablers. Arrows are used as applicable to show direct relationships (i.e. cause and effect).

ILM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The logic map is a very powerful communication and justification tool that provides the line of sight that links the evidence for why a change initiative, strategic plan or investment decision is required with the solution, associated business changes and desired business benefits.

Given the increased emphasis on evidence-based decision making and justification of business activity against organisational priorities in government organisations, Noetic is finding that logic mapping strongly resonates with our clients. Additionally, increasing time and resource pressures make the logic mapping process incredibly powerful in allowing organisations the ability to make informed decisions in a much quicker and more inclusive manner.

To find out more about Noetic’s consultancy services call +61 2 6234 7777 or send an email to mail@noeticgroup.com.