MOST Analysis is a technique for analysing what an organisation aims to achieve (mission & objectives) and how it aims to achieve this (strategy & tactics).
Many organisations have a mission defined and objectives set, yet sometimes these guiding statements lose focus during the operational programmes that implement business change. And, as a result, it is not uncommon that the strategy and tactics being executed fail to fully support that overall vision — putting projects at risk of not delivering the business benefits that the organisation wishes to realise in the future.
One of hundreds of business analysis techniques, MOST Analysis is performed during strategic analysis to evaluate an organisations overall strategy, the supporting activities and whether they are all in alignment.
These are the four tiers in MOST Analysis:
- Mission: defines what business the organisation is in and what it is intending to achieve
- Objectives: key goals against which the organisations achievement can be measured
- Strategy: the medium to long-term approach chosen to achieve organisational objectives
- Tactics: the short-term, operational plans and projects that will implement the strategy
With this understanding of the current internal environment, the MOST Analysis technique analyse an organisation from its business strategy through to the way in it is setting about tactically achieving it.
Why use MOST Analysis?
Understanding what the organisation defines as its business direction — what it wishes to achieve (mission and objectives) and how it is going to do this (strategy and tactics) — enables the business analyst gain a detailed appreciation of where the business system under consideration fits into the overall organisation, and helps to ensure that the business analysis, project delivery and change management efforts contribute to the strategy.
MOST Analysis is useful for business analysts as it helps to ensure the right questions are asked and provides a logical connection from the high-level goals of the organisation right through to the detailed project activities — meaning that business requirements are connected to the businesses objectives.
How do you use MOST Analysis?
Once the MOST for an organisation has been identified, or formulated, the four tiers should be analysed by asking pertinent questions:
Is the MOST complete?
- Has a MOST been defined for the organisation?
- Are any elements of the MOST missing?
- Does each part include all relevant information?
Is the MOST consistent?
- Do the elements align with each other?
- Are there aspects of the MOST that are unsupported?
- Does any element conflict with another?
Is the MOST clear?
- Does the MOST set out a clear direction for the organisation?
- Do the statements provide focus for the work carried out?
- Can achievement against the MOST be measured?
Is the MOST communicated?
- Are the employees of the organisation aware of the MOST?
- Have the people been educated who have to execute it?
- Is the MOST available as a context for the work that they do?
Is the MOST committed?
- Do employees agree with the content of the MOST?
- Is the culture supportive of the MOST’s intent?
- Are areas working together deliver the MOST?
In summary, MOST Analysis is conducted as part of an internal environment analysis to help identify areas of strength and expose fundamental weaknesses within an organisation.
Would you like some help with this?
Business Change Management Group (BCMG) helps you build your business analyst career by teaching you the knowledge, skills and abilities needed, with an emphasis throughout on practical learning and real-life case studies.
BCMG’s Strategic Business Analysis course introduces you to all the essential skills of business analysis, including strategic analysis, stakeholder management, business activity modelling, gap analysis and making a business case.
Where do you use MOST Analysis?
Typically used during the strategic analysis phase of a business change project, MOST Analysis can be leveraged for the following purposes:
- Defining, planning and/or analysing current and future organisational strategy
- Identifying strengths and weaknesses as part of an internal environment analysis
- Aligning business requirements and project delivery with business objectives
- Creating a personal strategy for performance development and career planning
It is important to remember that simply defining a coherent MOST will not result in successful change, and when used in conjunction with other business analysis techniques, such as PESTLE Analysis, Resource Audit, SWOT Analysis and POPIT, it allows the organisation to be studied holistically.