Discovery and Analysis

The Discovery Process ensures that your organization’s unique needs are jointly understood by both TrueNorth and your own personnel. There are always both good facts and painful facts which, when faced directly, lead to strengths that can be tapped while opportunities are addressed. With this shared starting point, TrueNorth will help your leadership team design and implement your own specific improvement strategies with the right combination of tools, services and/or courses to achieve your goals.

The TrueNorth approach to Discovery:

  • Involves participants in data analysis so they fully understand the issues;
  • Provides benchmarks for your organization against national norms, sometimes local competition, but always measures your own progress over time;
  • Prioritizes needs and resource allocation;
  • And provides a basis for tailoring workshop content.

The tools listed below have been used in a wide variety of combinations. Each is available as the central focus of a 1-day workshop or as part of our 2-day or management or 3-day Strategic Planning or Operations Planning workshops. We will help you determine which approach is right for you. Scroll through the tolls below for brief descriptions, or jump directly to learn more about a tool of your choice by clicking on the list to the left.

Discovery & Analysis Tools


This proprietary supplier/trade feedback system surveys only those suppliers and trade contractors with whom you have an active, current relationship. This purely local and personal tool uses 45 questions to drill into 6 categories, allowing you to see exactly what your key suppliers and trades have to say about working with you. More, these local responses are compared with responses from across the country so you can see how you compare with other outstanding builders willing to work on suppliers & trade relations. You can even compare yourself with other divisions in your own company if run corporately, and against last year when TradeCOMM has been run previously. Identify strengths and opportunities; prioritize issues; focus resources for the biggest impact.

Includes up to 150 surveys to named individuals, bound color reports question-by-question with an Executive Summary, verbatim essay responses, a ½-day workshop on understanding Results and a ½-day workshop for an action team on Action Planning.

NOTE:TrueNorth offers significant discounts to execute both TradeCOMM and the Quality Culture Survey simultaneously. Together, these tools provide a complete picture of the organization, giving the direction needed to generate the greatest improvement in the shortest possible time, at reduced cost.

Quality Culture Survey

A total employee perspective of your quality culture is revealed through 49 questions across 6 categories. Reduce barriers to both organizational and operational change by uncovering obstacles and bottlenecks. Demonstrate your serious commitment to improved customer satisfaction by starting with internal staff. Compare your operations with national, total company, local and past year norms with detailed analysis of each question. Identify strengths and opportunities, prioritize issues, and focus resources. The Quality Culture Survey includes the same deliverables as TradeCOMM and can be offered either alone or in conjunction with TradeCOMM.

NOTE:TrueNorth offers significant discounts to execute both TradeCOMM and the Quality Culture Survey simultaneously. Together, these tools provide a complete picture of the organization, giving the direction needed to generate the greatest improvement in the shortest possible time, at reduced cost.

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Process Improvement Target Assessment

Plot strengths and weaknesses across 22 specific processes essential for every homebuilder. Using a sophisticated but easily understood matrix and full-color graphs, each process is analyzed according both the urgency of any fix or improvement required, as well the type of improvement needed – from simple value enhancement to a total reengineering. This analysis is a critical aid to prioritizing improvement projects and allocation of resources.

DISC Personal Profile System

The DISC Personal Profile System and leadership & communication style assessment tool can readily be purchased on line, but TrueNorth trained facilitators also use DISC to assist with building constructive relationships, using it as another validated data point in personal self-assessment. The DISC instrument is distributed prior to any subsequent planning workshop. Its questions help individuals recognize their personal tendencies and strengths along four lines: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. Each individual’s results are compiled in a private 20-page report, seen only by that individual. How these four measures interact are discussed in a group environment, with ideas shared on how individuals might interpret their personal results within the context of group dynamics. Individual one-on-one counseling is available.

Training Needs Survey

Compare the personal training needs – as expressed by your employees – with corporate needs, and then overlap the two sets of needs for maximum receptiveness. This process can effectively apply limited resources to more specifically effective developmental training, ensuring that time and money are both well spent.

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Leadership Practices Survey

Know your company’s real leadership style. This survey distills hundreds of questions from the 25-year Harris Poll “Key Indicators” leadership survey down to a very manageable “essential 12.” Accurate and to the point, the Leadership Practices Survey can be added to any workshop.

Cost of Delivered Quality

Significant dollars are lost throughout the entire building process, often in ways and areas never considered before. The complete process of planning, designing, building, delivering and servicing a quality home can often yield six, seven or even eight-figure savings. Workshop participants clearly demonstrate this lesson to themselves in a step by step, high-impact analysis, completed by way of an in-class group exercise. The resulting analysis –conducted by your own employees – helps motivate management teams to attack the loss sources and design them out of the system.

On-site Interviews

TrueNorth can conduct one-on-one and small group interviews with executives, employees, suppliers, trades, or other constituents important to your project. Our facilitators are skilled at pulling out the deeply held experiences, opinions and beliefs that play a critical role in your ability to achieve your goals.

Just as importantly is the need to establish a relationship of trust and understanding between your employees, suppliers and trades and the TrueNorth facilitator, an integral part of the interview and survey process TrueNorth employs. This step is vital to opening your staff, suppliers and trades to any subsequent improvement effort. When there is prior involvement in the process, skepticism and cynicism are reduced and willingness to participate and cooperate is increased. Employees, suppliers and trades all want to know that their point of view is acknowledged before they will accept change efforts.

Focus Groups

Conduct larger group sessions with customers, prospective customers, employees, suppliers, or trades to uncover specific key satisfiers & dissatisfiers in their experience with your company. Video & analysis and can be included.

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