Here’s one approach that Communitas Consulting has used in the early stages of diagnosis for evaluations. It is transferrable to an assessment of your own organizational issues.

When you are faced with an organizational or community problem that calls for a solution:

  Probe for a Deeper History – Why has the situation come to this point? Why hasn’t this problem been addressed before?

  Determine a Sense of Urgency – Why is this important now? What has changed recently to make this problem urgent? What dollars, reputations, commitments, relationships, and lives may be at stake?

  Identify Stated and Unstated Desired Results – What is a vision of success were this problem to be addressed?  Worse fears if it goes unaddressed? What is not being said?

  Understand Existing Relationships – What is the level of trust, cooperation, and communication with those involved? Does everyone want a solution to this problem?

  Verify Level of Commitment How much time and resources do you and your team have to invest in addressing the problem?  Your partners and allies?

  Confirm Availability and Accessibility of Information Where can you get more information, and is it readily accessible? Do you have what you need to move forward?

  Share Your Thinking On what information are you basing your diagnosis? Do these ideas resonate with those impacted?