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Situational Analysis Framework of Needs Assessment

U2 Discussion 2  – Situational Analysis Framework of Needs Assessment

Review the three articles on public needs assessment projects that is attached to this unit’s studies.

1. Describe and compare the articles in terms of the conceptualization of community needs assessment projects’ framework for process effectiveness and stakeholder representation.

2. Analyze the situational analysis framework of the needs and methodology used in measuring the problem concepts.

3. Operationally, define the problem concepts as to which levels of measurement of the needs can be identified.

4. How indicators of readiness are assessed?

5. How the community and subgroups within it brought up to a state of readiness?

6. You must include a description of each project, anything that is obvious to you about how they compare and contrast, and who is or could be involved in each project.

7. Based on what you have learned about these projects, determine whether the right people are involved on each NAC, from both community and government perspectives?

U2 – Conceptualization of Community Needs Assessment Framework

INTRODUCTION

Perhaps the most difficult parts of starting a community needs assessment planning process are defining the problem concept and making sure the right people are in the room for those discussions. Because their interests are at stake, these right people are needed to form the needs assessment committee (NAC) for tackling the problem analysis. Our public problems are often big—very big!

And, we cannot solve the whole problem in one pass. The resources required are often impossible to muster. Also, the impetus for developing understanding and etiology of the social condition and measurement of the problem concept is

imperative for determining the scope of the needs-based situational analysis. In reality, we need to narrow our definition of what we can accomplish to ensure that what we tackle is something that is doable and realistic.

Similarly, not having the right people in the room for the discussion is as bad as trying to address a problem that is too big. The public is not just a homogeneous mass; different interest groups have differing perspectives depending on the issue.  What serves one group hurts another. For example, the appropriate uses of scarce water may differ if you are sitting in the chairs of agricultural interests, environmentalists, recreational water use enthusiasts, and government water districts.

Missing one of these groups in the room means that the project can be perceived as closed and slanted in terms of decision making. Understanding how to involve the right people and even identifying them in the first place is a component to the successful kick-off of a needs assessment project. All of these thus point to gaining the understanding of the methodology used in conceptualizing the framework of a community needs assessment project.

The framework for conceptualizing community needs assessment can be initiated at four levels of operationalizing the definition of the problem concept: normative need, felt or perceived need, expressed need, and comparative or relative need. The definition of the problem concept is thus the precursor for identifying and understanding the situational analysis framework (SAF) of the need, and the methodologies used in determining at which level of measurement of the need can be identified.

OBJECTIVES

To successfully complete this learning unit, you will be expected to:

1. Demonstrate understanding of the situational analysis framework of the need and methodology used in measuring the problem concept.

2. Define the problem concept operationally as a precursor for determining at which levels of measurement of the needs can be identified.

3. Compare the conceptualization of community needs assessment project’s framework for process effectiveness and stakeholder representation.

U2 Readings – Focusing the Needs Assessment

Readings

Note: Be certain to read the unit introduction, as it may contain important information and references pertaining to this unit’s content and activities.

Use your Designing and Managing Programs text to complete the following:

Read Chapter 3, “Understanding Social Problems,” pages 35–47.

Read Chapter 4, “Needs Assessment: Theoretical Considerations,” pages 49–65.

Read Chapter 5, ” Needs Assessment: Approaches to Measurement,” pages 67–86.

Media – Transcript

Sometimes, the hardest part of beginning a public issue needs assessment is defining the scope and concept of what the problem is. What can be addressed without being overwhelming?

Read Focusing the Needs Assessment to learn more about how to begin this process of narrowing the problem to focus on something manageable.

Use the library to complete the following:

Read Balogh, Whitelaw, and Thompson’s 2008 article, “Rapid Needs Appraisal in the Modern NHS: Potential and Dilemmas,” from Critical Public Health, volume 18, issue 2, pages 233–244.

Read the 2004 article “BOCES Receives a $242,000 Grant Emergency Response Plans” from Hudson Valley Business Journal, volume 15, issue 26, page 27.

Read Couzens’s 2001 article, “Needs Assessment Adopted by County,” from Las Vegas Business Press, volume 18, issue 4, page 7.

Article Search

In preparation for this unit’s discussions, see the attached three peer-reviewed articles on public needs assessment projects.  They must be referenced and read for the attached discussions.

10 Copyright © SLACK Incorporated

leadership and development Associate Editor: Michael R. Bleich, PhD, RN, FAAN Author: Michael R. Bleich, PhD, RN, FAAN

Leadership Needs Assessment

Professional development educa-tors are charged with the function of performing an ongoing learning needs assessment of target audiences to satisfy accreditation needs, develop programs, and show a return on educational investment. In the area of leadership, such an assessment can be complex. Leadership skills at the individual level must transcend to the organizational setting where leaders can impact everything from strategy development to operations. Determining programs that impact the actions of leaders requires deep analysis and careful program design, the foundation of which is a leader- ship needs assessment.

USING ASSESSMENT TOOLS The literature supports that many

firms provide leadership assessment

tools and corresponding programs. There is a heavy emphasis in these programs solely on individual de- velopment. Various instruments and tools measure leadership prefer- ences to act or to highlight individual strengths or areas to improve. Ad- dressing the validity and reliability of these instruments or services is beyond the scope of this article; in- stead, the purpose of this article is to suggest an organizing framework for developing quality programs.

When Crosby and Shields (2010) reported one approach to an assess- ment, it was based on a widespread concern for the lack of sufficient fu- ture leaders in the discipline. Their assessment led to insights collapsed into leadership development that would: ● “Build” a successful leader,

change culture, and manage dif- ficult behaviors.

● Address issues tied to horizontal violence or lateral hostility.

● Increase skills in other nurses in communication and critical thinking.

● Recruit and retain nurses through rewards and recognition strate- gies.

● Plan for leadership succession. ● Practice in multisized organiza-

tions from urban to rural.

With an eye toward these assess- ment results, several factors stand out. Only one area focused on de- veloping the leadership capacity of leaders. The other aspects reflected leadership attributions (most likely at the director or unit manager role) that would resolve issues in others linked to human resource recruitment and retention, human resource develop- ment, and conflict management, in- cluding resolving violence and hostil- ity as part of culture change.

TAKING A HOLISTIC APPROACH The Center for Creative Leader-

ship (CCL) has a useful framework that could help professional develop- ment educators think through a ho- listic approach to leadership assess- ment (Leslie, Chandrasekar, & Barts, 2011). In this framework, three types of competencies are noted: ● Leading the organization. ● Leading others. ● Leading self.

Considering the work of Cros- by and Shields (2010), the assessed needs documented a major focus on leading others, with limited empha- sis on self-development. Missing was any focus on what it meant to be a leader within an organization or be- yond the organizational setting. In my experience, individual identifica- tion of needs produces sparse results, culminating in one or two topics or recommended speakers, and is of limited usefulness.

DEVELOPING A CENTRAL AIM Again, with reference to the CCL

work (Leslie et al., 2011), a Leader-

abstract Documenting a leadership needs

assessment is complex. One ap- proach is through developing a cen- tral aim, followed by the competen- cies needed to lead the organization, others, and self. By adding contex- tual factors, an actionable leader- ship development plan evolves. J Contin Educ Nurs. 2015;46(1):10- 11.

Dr. Bleich is Maxine Clark and Bob Fox Dean and Professor, Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, St. Louis, Missouri.

The author has disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise. Address correspondence to Michael R. Bleich, PhD, RN, FAAN, Maxine Clark and Bob

Fox Dean and Professor, Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, 4483 Duncan Avenue, Mail Stop 90-36-697, St. Louis, MO 63110; e-mail: mbleich@bjc.org.

doi:10.3928/00220124-20150109-13

 

 

11The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing · Vol 46, No 1, 2015

ship Gap Indicator is an assessment that begins with a success profile, a vision of the types of competencies or characteristics that will drive the organization to success. One stra- tegic planning firm (T. Fallon & L. Schulte, personal communication, October 13, 2014) calls this vision “the central aim,” a compelling state- ment of what the organization’s suc- cess would look like 3 years out. The value of the central aim is that in a single statement, unified expectations are articulated and remain steady in rapidly changing environments where a drift of focus may occur.

From this vantage point, the pro- fessional development educator can now converse with an assessment team and eventually state the com- petencies needed to meet the central aim: ● What competencies are present in

current leaders? ● What competencies can be devel-

oped? ● What kinds of programs would

inspire, encourage, and lead to optimal leadership performance?

IDENTIFYING LEADERSHIP CAPACITY

The difference between the cen- tral aim and existing leader compe- tencies (those holding defined lead- ership roles) identifies leadership

capacity. Leader capacity should be assessed equally in those who work in professional, nonmanagerial posi- tions. It is this group that begins to form the foundation for leadership succession. If leadership capacity is underdeveloped or absent, the cen- tral aim will not materialize, creating a crisis of leadership when stakes are high.

For a completed needs assess- ment, the focus shifts from indi- viduals to an examination of orga- nizational conditions, those drivers and deterrents that will obfuscate or accelerate leadership functioning. It is these drivers and deterrents that will flavor the action orientation of leaders. They also inform the con- tent of leadership programs, helping to address restraints and optimize strengths to lead change initiatives. Well-designed leadership programs reflect favorably on professional de- velopment educators who can dem- onstrate strategic and operational benefits of their work.

Finally, leadership is both con- textual and relational. It is a concept that evolves over time and is never static. When the needs assessment is conducted, consider the: ● Environment (dynamic or static). ● Clinical demands (new and

emerging technologies and the presence of clinical risk).

● Professional structures (who has power and influence, the pres- ence or absence of professional resources, and the care delivery model in use, formally or infor- mally).

● Consumer demands (awareness of individuals, families, and com- munities of interest). This final dimension of the needs

assessment will help determine ways of delivering context-rich content, using leadership simulation, point- of-care instruction, off-campus edu- cation, multimedia and computer- driven delivery, and other formal fellowships and certification courses.

The best way to lead on is through a leadership needs assessment that is vision-driven, individually assessed, collectively derived to determine where gaps exist, and contextually rich.

REFERENCES Crosby, F.E., & Shields, C.J. (2010). Preparing

the next generation of nurse leaders: An educational needs assessment. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 41, 363-368.

Leslie, J.B., Chandrasekar, A., & Barts, D. (2011). Leadership gap indicator: An or- ganizational analysis of leadership ef- fectiveness and development needs. Greensboro, NC: Center for Creative Lead- ership. Retrieved from http://www.ccl.org/ leadership/pdf/assessments/LGISample FeedbackReport.pdf

 

 

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

10 Copyright © SLACK Incorporated

leadership and development Associate Editor: Michael R. Bleich, PhD, RN, FAAN Author: Michael R. Bleich, PhD, RN, FAAN

Leadership Needs Assessment

Professional development educa-tors are charged with the function of performing an ongoing learning needs assessment of target audiences to satisfy accreditation needs, develop programs, and show a return on educational investment. In the area of leadership, such an assessment can be complex. Leadership skills at the individual level must transcend to the organizational setting where leaders can impact everything from strategy development to operations. Determining programs that impact the actions of leaders requires deep analysis and careful program design, the foundation of which is a leader- ship needs assessment.

USING ASSESSMENT TOOLS The literature supports that many

firms provide leadership assessment

tools and corresponding programs. There is a heavy emphasis in these programs solely on individual de- velopment. Various instruments and tools measure leadership prefer- ences to act or to highlight individual strengths or areas to improve. Ad- dressing the validity and reliability of these instruments or services is beyond the scope of this article; in- stead, the purpose of this article is to suggest an organizing framework for developing quality programs.

When Crosby and Shields (2010) reported one approach to an assess- ment, it was based on a widespread concern for the lack of sufficient fu- ture leaders in the discipline. Their assessment led to insights collapsed into leadership development that would: ● “Build” a successful leader,

change culture, and manage dif- ficult behaviors.

● Address issues tied to horizontal violence or lateral hostility.

● Increase skills in other nurses in communication and critical thinking.

● Recruit and retain nurses through rewards and recognition strate- gies.

● Plan for leadership succession. ● Practice in multisized organiza-

tions from urban to rural.

With an eye toward these assess- ment results, several factors stand out. Only one area focused on de- veloping the leadership capacity of leaders. The other aspects reflected leadership attributions (most likely at the director or unit manager role) that would resolve issues in others linked to human resource recruitment and retention, human resource develop- ment, and conflict management, in- cluding resolving violence and hostil- ity as part of culture change.

TAKING A HOLISTIC APPROACH The Center for Creative Leader-

ship (CCL) has a useful framework that could help professional develop- ment educators think through a ho- listic approach to leadership assess- ment (Leslie, Chandrasekar, & Barts, 2011). In this framework, three types of competencies are noted: ● Leading the organization. ● Leading others. ● Leading self.

Considering the work of Cros- by and Shields (2010), the assessed needs documented a major focus on leading others, with limited empha- sis on self-development. Missing was any focus on what it meant to be a leader within an organization or be- yond the organizational setting. In my experience, individual identifica- tion of needs produces sparse results, culminating in one or two topics or recommended speakers, and is of limited usefulness.

DEVELOPING A CENTRAL AIM Again, with reference to the CCL

work (Leslie et al., 2011), a Leader-

abstract Documenting a leadership needs

assessment is complex. One ap- proach is through developing a cen- tral aim, followed by the competen- cies needed to lead the organization, others, and self. By adding contex- tual factors, an actionable leader- ship development plan evolves. J Contin Educ Nurs. 2015;46(1):10- 11.

Dr. Bleich is Maxine Clark and Bob Fox Dean and Professor, Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, St. Louis, Missouri.

The author has disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise. Address correspondence to Michael R. Bleich, PhD, RN, FAAN, Maxine Clark and Bob

Fox Dean and Professor, Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, 4483 Duncan Avenue, Mail Stop 90-36-697, St. Louis, MO 63110; e-mail: mbleich@bjc.org.

doi:10.3928/00220124-20150109-13

 

 

11The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing · Vol 46, No 1, 2015

ship Gap Indicator is an assessment that begins with a success profile, a vision of the types of competencies or characteristics that will drive the organization to success. One stra- tegic planning firm (T. Fallon & L. Schulte, personal communication, October 13, 2014) calls this vision “the central aim,” a compelling state- ment of what the organization’s suc- cess would look like 3 years out. The value of the central aim is that in a single statement, unified expectations are articulated and remain steady in rapidly changing environments where a drift of focus may occur.

From this vantage point, the pro- fessional development educator can now converse with an assessment team and eventually state the com- petencies needed to meet the central aim: ● What competencies are present in

current leaders? ● What competencies can be devel-

oped? ● What kinds of programs would

inspire, encourage, and lead to optimal leadership performance?

IDENTIFYING LEADERSHIP CAPACITY

The difference between the cen- tral aim and existing leader compe- tencies (those holding defined lead- ership roles) identifies leadership

capacity. Leader capacity should be assessed equally in those who work in professional, nonmanagerial posi- tions. It is this group that begins to form the foundation for leadership succession. If leadership capacity is underdeveloped or absent, the cen- tral aim will not materialize, creating a crisis of leadership when stakes are high.

For a completed needs assess- ment, the focus shifts from indi- viduals to an examination of orga- nizational conditions, those drivers and deterrents that will obfuscate or accelerate leadership functioning. It is these drivers and deterrents that will flavor the action orientation of leaders. They also inform the con- tent of leadership programs, helping to address restraints and optimize strengths to lead change initiatives. Well-designed leadership programs reflect favorably on professional de- velopment educators who can dem- onstrate strategic and operational benefits of their work.

Finally, leadership is both con- textual and relational. It is a concept that evolves over time and is never static. When the needs assessment is conducted, consider the: ● Environment (dynamic or static). ● Clinical demands (new and

emerging technologies and the presence of clinical risk).

● Professional structures (who has power and influence, the pres- ence or absence of professional resources, and the care delivery model in use, formally or infor- mally).

● Consumer demands (awareness of individuals, families, and com- munities of interest). This final dimension of the needs

assessment will help determine ways of delivering context-rich content, using leadership simulation, point- of-care instruction, off-campus edu- cation, multimedia and computer- driven delivery, and other formal fellowships and certification courses.

The best way to lead on is through a leadership needs assessment that is vision-driven, individually assessed, collectively derived to determine where gaps exist, and contextually rich.

REFERENCES Crosby, F.E., & Shields, C.J. (2010). Preparing

the next generation of nurse leaders: An educational needs assessment. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 41, 363-368.

Leslie, J.B., Chandrasekar, A., & Barts, D. (2011). Leadership gap indicator: An or- ganizational analysis of leadership ef- fectiveness and development needs. Greensboro, NC: Center for Creative Lead- ership. Retrieved from http://www.ccl.org/ leadership/pdf/assessments/LGISample FeedbackReport.pdf

 

 

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

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