This method begins with aligning the system’s function to existing organization- or system-level key performance indicators, i.e., the things it must do well to succeed. These key performance indicators are then used as the framework for conducting the strengths and weaknesses assessment.

After assessing strengths and weaknesses, you will want to compile them into one or two finalized lists and rate them based on how they contribute to or detract from the system’s success. Place those that have the most significant effect at the top of each list and list the others in order to the ones that have only a very minor impact. This will help you to determine which strengths and weaknesses are most important to address when creating strategic objectives later in the process. You will be focusing on further enhancing the strengths that have the most significant impact and addressing the weakness that causes the most problems first, working your way down the list over time.

  • What is the unique value-producing features of the system?

Features that create value are a mix of human talents combined with organizational processes and technologies in ways that provide superior value. Value-producing core competencies are those aspects or functions of your team system that help you to provide value to system output and separate you from the competition.

Assess where these features fall within the supersystem processing cycle and how many consumers benefit from them (either other team systems or end-state consumers). These are your system’s value-producing core competencies. Many systems undergoing this process may find that they do not possess value-producing competencies; when this is the case, look hard at segmenting usable roles from the system and transition those to another teams with value-producing features, and then remove the team system under examination from the environment.

  • Where does the system fit into a higher-level supersystem?

There are generally four categories of systems here in the context of a higher-order system. Identify which type of role the system under examination is performing:

  • Commodity/Broad Scope is characterized by providing low-cost featuresor processing to a broad and varied set of supersystems. Systems fitting into this model produce highly standardized, generically appealing output using efficient processes and lowest cost relationships with other system 
  • Differentiation/Broad Scope is characterized by providing attributes so unique to several supersystemsthat this team becomes a key processing unit with a high level of visibility. Systems fitting into this model can impact broad change and may be subject to conceptually different supersystem benefits.
  • Commodity /Narrow Scope is characterized by providing low-cost featuresapplied to a limited segment of supersystems. Teams in this context identify a narrow segment of a broad supersystem that exhibits different behavior than the broader base.
  • Differentiation/Narrow Scope is characterized by team differentiation aimed at a much more focused set of features. Systems in this context focus on a limited set of attributes or roles and differentiate them more than other teams within the supersystem.

Determining what type of system strategy you will adopt will help you to determine the scope and direction of the team system. The narrower the team focus, the more the team can concern itself with just the features of the system under analysis, and the broader the scope, the more supersystem components will need to be analyzed and understood.

  • Is there team- or feature-level redundancy?

The element of analysis is identifying the features of the team under examination and searching for redundant capabilities across the most accessible sets of other team systems. Part of defining a solution model is understanding how the system is positioned in a large continuum and deciding to either create duplicate features or to consolidate redundant functionality.