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March 13, 2023

What Is Iterative Analysis? Why Is It Important for Framework Development?

Mission-driven organizations often face the challenge of navigating a world that does not always accommodate their values, ideals, and mission. When it comes to identifying a strategy or finding how your organization can contribute to solutions for a given problem, it is incredibly helpful to develop an analysis framework.

Why Do You Need A Framework?

A framework can be simple or complex, depending on the given situation, but does not have to be complicated in its purpose: To provide a thorough description of the fundamentals of an issue and its solutions, from which you and your organization can make decisions. 

Some organizations call it a Theory of Change, or a logic model. It explains the “how” of your mission. For your framework to withstand the “test” of “the real word,” your framework should go through the process of iterative analysis.

Why Is Iterative Analysis An Essential Tool?

The process of iterative analysis does not need to be complicated. Essentially, an iterative approach to developing your framework means that the framework will be continuously evolving during its development. This approach relies on collaboration among key stakeholders for whom the framework should serve.

Through repeatedly presenting, discussing, and revising the draft framework, a team sharpens the logic and rationale behind core concepts and the logic of action steps. Iterative analysis serves as the think tank space of a consulting practice. 

What Does Iterative Framework Development Look Like?

Converge is experienced in using iterative analysis to bring powerful frameworks to life. Our Shifting and Building Community Power Theory of Change, is one such example of a useful framework for organizations to use in making decisions about how to shift power to, share power with, and build power for local communities they serve. This framework for shifting and building power underwent several iterations based on the iterative analysis approach.

What Does Iterative Framework Development Achieve?

An iterative approach means that your framework and your ideas will naturally go through several iterations, each being stronger and clearer than the one before based on the collaborative input from a diverse team. This process may oftentimes become “messy” as multiple people iterate on the ideas of others, adding to, editing down, amplifying, and transforming ideas to ultimately strengthen the framework so that it both explains clearly the issues we seek to solve and provides a space from which individuals and organizations can see their role in improving the conditions of that issue.

Ultimately, an iterative approach is successful when the resulting framework meets the following criteria:

  • It is easy to understand
  • It clearly explains a given issue and paths to solutions
  • It features no “loopholes” or “cracks” that are relevant to the issue
  • Enables space or thought starters for users to make decisions about their work

These criteria should guide each iteration of your framework. Converge is skilled in facilitating this process from its beginning stages to execution and presentation to the stakeholders an organization wishes to impact. 

In using iterative analysis, Converge works closely with our client partners to analyze an issue and propose a framework to begin to explain that issue and propose potential solutions, all based on both research and the lived experiences of those working on these issues. Then, we work hand-in-hand with our client partners, other key stakeholders and partners, and field experts to “test” our framework against real-world scenarios. 

***Does your organization struggle with the “how” of mission? Have you ever envisioned the logical steps to get there? Do you need to flush out certain key concepts and processes? Do you wish that there is a logic model or a framework to guide implementation? If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, Converge has the expertise to custom-design it for your organization so that you can focus on the mission. Contact us today at [email protected].