Organizational development and planning is the process of looking at an organization’s current state, where it wants to go, and determining how it will get to that point. This process takes some hard analysis of the organization and its culture, plus the possibility of major change always exists. Components of organizational development and planning may include goals, organizational structure, training, the development of a leadership pool, and performance measurement.


When an organizational development and planning cycle begins, the first step is to analyze the organization as it exists today. Take a look at how the organization is structured, who reports to whom, and look for any redundancies. Also, check out the organization’s current culture. Is management accessible? Is morale high or low? Are employees following an overall mission, are they driven by customer satisfaction, or by their own desire to earn money? Finally, executive management should be able to tell you where it wants the organization to go: better customer service, higher profit, more satisfied employees, or a combination of factors.

Goals and Mission

If there is no overall goal and mission for the organization, this will be part of the development and planning process. From the organization’s culture and the determination of where management wants to go, create goals and an overall mission. The goals, which should be based on measurable outcomes, will help you in evaluating performance. The mission should serve as an overall goal that reminds everyone what the organization’s purpose is.


In the planning stage, decide how the organization will reach its new goals and mission. Do you need to change the structure? Are there inefficiencies in management and reporting that could be eliminated? Based on what you know about the organization’s current culture, how are its members going to respond to change? Are there training programs that you can implement, such as operations, leadership, or managing change that will help the organization move forward?

Creating Leadership

When it comes to creating leadership, examine management to see if it knows the difference between “leading” and “managing.” If not, this may be a training opportunity. Does the organization have a leadership training program, one that will identify high-potential leaders for the organization’s future growth? This is also a good area to add to the training list. Also, it is a great idea to create a succession plan; that is, a plan that tells management who is ready to “step into their shoes” if an organizational leader is no longer present.

Measuring Performance

One of the final steps of organizational development and planning is to measure both individual and organizational performance after the change. To do this, look at the goals set during the planning process. How does each business unit, and therefore each individual, contribute to the achievement of the goals? On the overall level, analyze how close the organization came to meeting its new goals. Once you determine this, the development cycle starts over again, with new ideas, new changes, and possibly new goals.