This engagement… “initiated important conversations about what our department strategic goals are and how we should measure progress. These conversations were occurring in silos, not at the broader level”, “moved us to actually adopting a broader set of performance measures”, “an interactive website with goals, metrics and current progress” – Department of Education and Early Learning
The Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) delivers quality programs to pre-school, K-12, and post-secondary populations served by the Seattle Public School district. DEEL’s mission is to ensure that all Seattle children have the greatest opportunity to succeed in school and in life and to graduate from school ready for college and a career. DEEL regularly collected classroom data that provided insight into student performance trends (e.g. test scores) but sought greater insight on how to evaluate and improve the operation of their own programs.
Innovation & Performance (“IP”) worked with DEEL to develop key management indicators, align these measures to financial information, and develop venues to review, improve, and act on data.
IP supported DEEL’s Leadership Team to develop five strategic goals that define success for the department. Following this, 38 staff participated in a series of results-based accountability workshops and developed measures in support of these strategic goals. 280 measures were initially generated by staff; 40 measures were prioritized by leadership. These measures were brought to life with operational and public dashboards, powered by automated performance data.
- Buy-in for results-oriented management: Approximately 70% of DEEL’s staff were engaged in the creation of performance measures. Colleagues were empowered to engage with fundamental questions of how to define and measure success for the department, setting the measures up for future success as a pillar of operational management.
- Operational management: New dashboards allowed DEEL’s Data, Reporting, and Performance Management Team to facilitate data ‘deep dives’ to evaluate the impact of the department’s work and refine measures where needed. The first team to use this approach were able to better analyze the quality and impact of their coaching services, adjust performance measures to better support evaluation and fix data collection issues that had hampered evaluation.
- Strategic clarity: The groundwork done on performance measures is also helping DEEL leadership connect measures that matter to their department strategy. DEEL is currently developing a Stat style meeting for key leadership to better-align the work of the department to broader vision and mission.
Download the full case study here: Education and Early Learning Case Study