Organizational development interventions stem from the study of organizational development itself. In basic terms, org development interventions are structured actions or activities that are designed to improve an overall organizational system or task performance. Broadly speaking, there are three primary elements of a comprehensive intervention process:

  • Assess information
  • Process new strategies
  • Integrate new approaches

Beyond this trio of primary elements, there are eight steps associated with the intervention process.

The Eight Steps for Organizational Development Intervention

There are eight steps at the heart of reaching the objectives of org development intervention, according to the Houston Chronicle. These steps are:

  • Entry Signals
  • Purpose
  • Assessment
  • Action Plan
  • Intervention
  • Evaluation
  • Adoption
  • Separation

Entry Signals

In many ways, what are known as early signals are precursors with the organizational development intervention process itself. Early signals refer to the flags that an organizational leader sees, both inside and outside of the organization itself. These flags or early signals cause organizational leaders to start contemplating the necessity for change. An external flag could be witnessing a competitor developing some sort of innovative solution. An internal one could be an influx of negative feedback on the services or products of a business.

Purpose

At the purpose step, the core issues are identified and defined. At this stage, an outside change agent may be brought on board to oversee the organizational development intervention process itself. A third-party change agent typically investigates issues and gathers information. The objective is to develop a purposeful strategy to make changes through the intervention process.

Assessment

During the assessment phase of the intervention process, data previously gathered is summarized and presented to the organization’s key stakeholders. In this way, stakeholders are aware of the issues and have ownership when it comes to the comprehensive intervention process itself.

Action Plan

At the conclusion of the assessment stage, management, other leaders, and stakeholders develop an action plan to address identified problems or issues. The action plan sets include everything from the establishment of milestones to identifying specific team members who will undertake certain roles and tasks.

Intervention

The intervention step itself is when the implementation of recommendations in the action plan commences. The entire team is included in the intervention process. This includes educated themselves fully on the action plan. In addition, discussions are had about how the action plan can be implemented with the least amount of disruption to the organization’s operation.

Evaluation

Once organizational development interventions are completed, leadership evaluates the results of the process. Different metrics are collected and assessed. This includes a correlating these metrics with the initial action plan.

Adoption

After the evaluation is completed a determination is made by the organization as to whether the changes that arose during the intervention will be a new and permanent part of the organization’s policy.

Separation

Separation occurs when policies and changes derived from the intervention process are implemented. In addition, this is the phase when any third-party agent departs.

Because of the overall success of this type of process, organizational development interventions are likely to continue to be fairly widely utilized.