What do you reach for to get a quick overview of an organisation’s structure and key data?

Benjamin P. Taylor
2 min readMar 29, 2021

How can you simplify analysis in way that doesn’t become meaningless?

I used to look down my nose a bit at ‘the business model canvas’ and its many variants.

Organisation and governance design is fascinating, and often involves challenging the ‘problem’ or changing the questions you are asking to get better results. Powerful approaches like the Viable Systems Model can be super-fast and super effective.

But we regularly find we have to help people get a quick overview of some key points of their organisation (or department, directorate, or service), so we added a couple:

>> The public service business model on a page is a set of questions and connections that attempts to show key context and issues

(I was tickled when it got slot 51 in Andi Roberts’ list (he now has well over a hundred ‘canvases’ collected at http://masterfacilitator.com/canvas-collection/) — it’s good to be reminded that we should be humble about our approaches to understanding organisations.)

>> ‘service view’ is to help people take a holistic view of their organisation, focused on ‘outside-in’ drivers of activity and responses.

What’s your favourite quick-and-dirty way of getting a ‘picture’ of an organisation or part of an organisation?