Competitive Intelligence Magazine Volume 9, Number 1, January-February 2006
This article discusses the Self-Diagnostic Framework (SDF). SDF is a tool for analysts and proprietary Competitive Intelligence (CI) professionals to benchmark the current level of their CI capabilities compared to "world class CI capability." SDF incorporates gap analysis to provide recommendations for companies to improve their CI functions.
The authors explain how there are four development stages a CI department can go through. The first stage is known as "stick fetching." This is when CI is used by decision makers (DM) after they are well into their decision making process. DMs will request information from a CI department who have been at a distance from the decision making process and therefore have little understanding as to why certain information is needed. The next stage is the "pilot stage." This happens when an organization expresses a committment to further develop a CI function and give it a "mandate" to help in the decision making process. After the pilot stage is the "proficient stage" where an organization's CI team is proficient in most of the elements in the SDF. Once they have all the elements in SDF covered they are considered to have achieved the "world-class" stage.
The SDF is broken down into eleven attributes. An analyst or team of analysts, look at each attribute and determine which stage they are in for that attribute.
The article describes how two european companies used the SDF to finds gaps and inedaquacies in their CI functions. Both companies were successful in further developing value added CI functions in their organizations.