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SMART: S Means Strategic

January 18, 2016

Welcome to our SMART Assessments series. Remember Sesame Street? Every day the show featured a letter of the day. Today’s letter is “S.”


For us, the S in our SMART system stands for Strategic. When you engage someone to do an assessment for you, it’s usually because you have a problem you’re trying to understand. 


Picture this: you’re feeling some pain and go to the doctor. They record your weight and height, take your blood pressure and temperature, and at the end of the appointment hand you a record of that data. You (wisely) ask, “But, Doc, what about my pain?” The doctor shrugs and walks away. How happy would you be about that engagement?


Too many assessment providers use assessments as a simple wellness check. They regurgitate information you give them, but dress it up with fancy charts and graphs and then send you an invoice. There’s no treatment plan for your pain; no insightful data you didn’t know before the appointment. 


You need that assessment to tell you what you don’t know and then help you formulate a plan of attack. No questions, part of being strategic is evaluating where you are. But that’s not the be-all and end-all. It’s just the first step.


Providing tactical steps to navigate the risks? Also a part of being strategic. You need a holistic approach. Back to our doctor visit example– if the doctor had discovered a fracture in your finger, prescribed you some pain medication, put a splint on your finger and told how to recover (and avoid a similar injury in the future), you’d walk out of the office satisfied. 


Same for assessments. Outputs must be holistic. Taking information you provide, evaluating how it impacts you, and then presenting you with a plan? That’s strategic. And isn’t that what you hired the vendor for in the first place?


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