All organisations need information to make effective decisions and to plan for the future. The information must be analysed and we must consider its implications
Collection of information
Management must collect all information that could influence the formulation and/or achievement of goals.
We must collect information about the past and the future. historic information is often a good basis for predictions about the future. We must also collect information about the internal and external environment of the company.
There are so many sources of information available. It is usually not a problem to find it. The problem is to identify what is really relevant.
- Reports and documents produced by government departments such as the Department of Statistics, or the Department of Trade and Industry.
- Large banks, brokerage firms, law firms and others publish newsletters that are sent to their clients to discuss various aspects of the business environment.
- Most universities do research and publish reports on a variety of issues.
- Professional organizations often publish magazines and newsletters that are sent to their members and member organizations.
- Managers can also make use of own experience and research done by the organisation.
The SWOT analysis is a very useful tool to analyse and organize relevant information.
To analyzed information, the following actions are needed:
- Find related Information from different sources so that comparisons can be made.
- Identify issues of interest
- Identify relationships between elements of the information
- Determine trends
- Determine problems and opportunities and their probable causes.
- Determine what additional information is needed
It usually helps to break information down into elements and to represent it graphically or in tables. It makes the information easier to understand
Consideration of information
You have to consider the relevance of the information to the organization or for the purpose for which it was gathered.
Here are some questions we can ask ourselves
- “What is the implications of this information?”
- “How can we use this information to benefit the company?”
- “What are the causes / consequences of this information for the organization?”
- “How can we combine/relate the information to benefit the company?”
You may end up with lots of information that is not equally important. You can use the IDG technique to determine the priority of the information. The information identified here is important and will be used as basis for the next step of the planning process.
Hannes Kruger, Management training manual. Written for the Meat Board, Chapter 2