40 Questions for a Current State Business Review

Here are 40 Questions to ask before leading Strategic Planning sessions in a Current State Business Review section to “confirm the present.” Some are quantitative, and some qualitative, though having a high level understanding around most of these to inform the foundation for growth.

  1. What kind of technology are we using? 
  2. What are we creating? 
  3. Who is our customer?
  4. How many employees do we have?
  5. How are we organized operationally?
  6. What are the sequential steps in our value streams?
  7. What kind of equipment / systems do we have? 
  8. How efficient are we?
  9. How are we leveraging the tools of the future?
  10. How are we doing when it comes to quality?
  11. How much money did we earn gross and net over past 3 years, trends, and profitability margin?
  12. Which accounts are the most profitable (direct costs)?Are the largest volume accounts the most profitable?
  13. How many/which accounts make up our top 80% Net Revenue?
  14. Do we have accounts with ZERO or NEGATIVE Net Revenue (if so, which)?
  15. Do we have inactive parts for which are we holding inventory/equipment (if so, which and for how long)?
  16. How much inventory do we have on hand?
  17. What are our inventory turns?
  18. What is our overhead (indirect costs) by category?
  19. How many overhead categories represent the top 80% spend?
  20. How many represent the last 20% spend (do we have a long “tail”)?
  21. For inventory, do we pay for significantly more in a year than our COGS? 
  22. Is cash flow significantly different from Accounts Receivable? 
  23. Do we have significant outstanding payments on orders? 
  24. What are the typical terms for clients? 
  25. Can we ascertain the average time to be paid by client?
  26. (What do we do when payments are outstanding?)
  27. What is our average lead time?
  28. What is our equipment capacity and utilization? 
  29. What are our bottlenecks?
  30. How many new parts have we added each year?
  31. How are we doing when it comes to waste (of time, of product, of money, etc)?
  32. What kinds of projects are we working on?
  33. What is our social impact?
  34. What is our environmental impact?
  35. Are our employees engaged in our mission?
  36. Are they empowered/autonomous/well-prepared/happy?
  37. What is our superpower?
  38. Can we handle more work if nothing changes?
  39. How long will we be a going concern if nothing changes?
  40. If everything else stayed the same, what one or two areas would have the most impact on the business were they to change?