Behavioural Systems Analysis (BSA)



Behavioural Systems Analysis, or BSA for short, is the application of behaviour analysis and science to organisations and human performance. It recognises that an organisation is essentially a system and should therefore be treated as such.

In Behavioural Systems Analysis, there are three different domains of the system: goals, design, and management. Each domain has three different levels: the job/performer, the process, and the organisation. This therefore provides nine different parts of the system. Each of these parts needs to be in alignment with each other and working together towards the same objective.

The Organisation – this is how the system interacted with internal and external forces. This can include market demands, competitors, suppliers, and customers.

The Process – this is how different departments interact with each other, and essentially how products and services are made and/or delivered.

The Job/Performer – this is the individual workers and how influences such as training, feedback and availability of resources impact performance and efficiency.

Goals – this is where we are going and sets the standards for success.

Design – this is the component that make up the levels of performance, and how these are structured to support goal achievement.

Management – this is how we plan, measure, and monitor successful performance.

Analysing how these parts work in relation to the other allows us to identify misaligned parts, and how these can be blocking efficiency and progress towards the organisation’s overall objectives.

The System Now

The first step is to take stock and analyse how the system functions now. This involves creating the following maps and statements:

  • Current Goals/Mission Statement
  • The Organisational System Map – this takes stock of how the organisation interacts with customers, through the delivery of products and services, and the receipt of feedback, with resources and suppliers, with competition, and with other environmental factors, such as the economy, regulations, legislation, culture, and market demand.
  • Relationship Map – this is how departments and functions interact with each other, including their inputs and who provides them, and their outputs and who receives them.
  • Competitor and Market Analysis – including factors such as price, quality, product/service offerings, location, loyalty, financial and material resources, technology, revenue vs cost, volume, and timeliness.
  • Process Maps and how they actually function now – this looks at how products and services are produced and delivered. These will include primary processes, or those directly related to product or service production and delivery, secondary processes, or those that may be invisible to the external consumer but necessary to support primary process (such as training, budgeting and hiring), and management processes, or the steps that managers take to support individual performers.
  • Mapping out individual Job/Performer system maps – how do individual performers take their inputs and produce their outputs, what is the consequence of these outputs, and how does the individual receive feedback

Improving the System

Now we know what the system looks like now, we can then look at how we can improve each part of the system and align it all together. This can involve:

  • Developing a clear Mission Statement which details the organisations overall goals and purpose. This should specify what products or services the organisation is to deliver and to whom, the value received by the consumer, how progress is to be measured, and essentially why the organisation exists succinctly.
  • Setting a clear 3- to 5-year strategy and define organisational, process, and job/performer goals (including developing clear function/department plans and job descriptions).
  • Process Improvement – Mapping out how process should look, and how that compares to where they currently are. This may involve identifying problems and friction points within the process and strategizing how to eliminate or reduce their impact.
  • Improving training and resources to support individuals complete their job roles
  • Improving performance management and feedback systems to promote high levels of performance and efficiency from individuals (see Performance Management for more on this)

If you would like support to analyse your organisational system, and how you can align and improve your system, contact us to arrange a free consultation to discuss how we can support you. 

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