SMART: A Means Actionable
In our SMART Assessment series we’re talking about the “A.” Actionable. We are firm believers that an assessment must have actionable steps in order to be valuable. Most assessments today are academic in nature. Full of information, yes, but leaving you to figure out how to apply that information.
There’s nothing wrong with academic writing. There is nothing wrong with research– except when that is done on your dime! You’re not looking to add to the knowledge universe, you in need of help.
Why do so many consultants avoid creating actionable plans? Because it’s so much easier to simply redefine the problem and talk about possible risks. Coming up with actionable steps requires real understanding. Many consultants are super experts in a particular field; let’s take network security as an example.
The consultant will come in and dazzle you with their knowledge on backscatter spam or go in to a thesis of how the Bayesian filter is based off of Thomas Bayes’ work on probability. But does that really help you better secure your data? Not a chance.
What you need is a consultant who understands those things, but ties them to business objectives and outcomes. How does this information apply to what you, the client, is trying to prevent and/or achieve? This is real value. Giving you a plan that helps you accomplish your goal.
If your consultant isn’t doing that for you? It’s time to go shopping.