A business baseline evaluates all critical elements of a business and assesses them in the
scheme of an overall system, the business itself. It takes a comprehensive look at the system
and the symptoms of the business before addressing the parts. The baseline then enables the
building of an integrated plan that will move your organization from where it is today towards
your goals of tomorrow.
Some key areas and associated questions that should be examined as a part of a baseline are:
What does the organization exist to do?
What are basic customer demands?
What is important to customers and what is not?
What is the customer willing to pay for?
What is the customer unwilling to pay for?
What are your key metrics?
What are the processes that the operation uses to deliver products or services to the customer?
What perceived problems exist with the processes?
Where are the processes inefficient?
Where are the processes broken?
What are the defects?
Where are defects generated?
Where are they detected?
Are the processes designed to deliver products and services at minimum cost?
How are the processes aligned?
How is the effectiveness of your people measured?
What are the goals of the organization and how do they pertain to what is important to the customer?
How is the organization aligned?
How are goals communicated and reinforced?
What is the level of understanding of goals throughout the organization?
What motivates people?
How are results to resource ratios tracking?
Where is money being lost?
Where are the biggest financial opportunities?
How much inventory is there?
Is it there the right amount of inventory in the right place at the right time to optimize profit?
How does information flow in the process?
How are repetitive problems identified, communicated, and addressed?
What kind of data is collected?
Is your collected data useful in running a business?
Is the information available in the right place, at the right time?