Understanding your sector
Understanding your sector

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4.1 Questions to ask during the resource analysis

As with the PEST analysis you carried out in Activity 3, you will need to do some research into your organisation to assess the extent of its resources. This could involve:

  • looking at your organisation’s website to find out how your organisation describes itself to the outside world
  • checking its latest reports for details of its assets and financial situation. If these are not available on a company’s own website, they might be accessible from Companies House [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]
  • talking to other staff with a better knowledge of some of these areas, for example human resources employees will know about the latest recruitment initiatives and any particular skills shortages.

Finally, don’t underestimate your own experience, and that of colleagues, of working for the organisation. What does this tell you about some of its intangible resources, such as how staff communicate with each other and how they are led and managed?

Some questions that you might want to ask include:

  • Physical resources
    • Are buildings, plant and machinery regularly maintained?
    • Is there a regular investment plan for new resources to replace outdated ones?
  • Financial resources
    • What do the organisation’s accounts tell you about its financial soundness?
    • Are there any plans to raise finance for further investment?
    • Who makes important financial decisions and are these made at the appropriate level?
  • Human resources
    • Does the organisation have any skills shortages and how are these addressed?
    • Do staff stay with the organisation for long or is there a high turnover?
    • How are staff trained and how is their development recognised?
    • Can staff make constructive suggestions for change and how are their concerns addressed?
  • Intangible resources
    • Is the culture of the organisation open and rewarding, or closed and competitive?
    • How do staff communicate with each other and is this positive and supportive?
    • What do customers/clients think of the organisation; does it have a strong reputation?

Table 5 is an example of a template you could use to conduct a basic audit or analysis of your organisation by rating a selection of its resources on a scale of 1 to 10.

Table 5 Conducting a resource analysis on your organisation
Resource

1–2

Very poor

3–4

Needs attention

5–6

About average

7–8

Performs well

9–10

As good as it gets

Physical

  • State of buildings
  • Age of plant/machinery
  • Plan for investment

Financial

  • Soundness of accounts
  • Plans for investment
  • Appropriate financial decision making

Human resources

  • Skills shortages
  • Staff turnover
  • Staff training and development

Intangible resources

  • Organisational culture
  • Staff communication
  • Organisational reputation

An analysis like this should begin to provide you with a picture of your organisation and how well prepared it is, in terms of its basic resources, to deal with the kinds of factor that you identified in the PEST analysis.

The list of resources provided in the example is fairly basic and you could probably think of others to add to it. However, a basic analysis like this would help you to see the underlying principles rather than to produce a completely comprehensive analysis.

You have now learned of two ways in which to analyse your organisation. They will have provided you with a sense of the factors caused by events in the wider world that might affect your organisation – and ultimately you as part of this – and its capacity to respond appropriately to these. You should also feel confident that you could do these analyses at a more detailed level with more practice and time.

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