Using the information and results from Phase 1 and Phase 2, the unit can now determine whether or not their processes and services are performing as effectively and efficiently as the unit expected. In the third phase, the functional unit can decide what areas are in need of improvement, determine how processes or services should be modified, or conclude that the processes and services are operating as expected.
The assessment process should foster action. Focus on a few action items each year and decide who will be responsible for follow-up and what the timeframe will be. As you implement your action plans, keep written records of activities (e.g., meeting minutes) related to the action as documentation of the process. Certain action items may be long term and results can be reported in subsequent years.
A follow-up plan detailing how actions have been implemented and the impact of actions over time should be clearly described. A unit can determine the impact of operational changes, create action plans for maintaining efficiency, and establish new criteria for further improvement. This section of the Assessment and Action Plan documents the impact of previous assessment cycles and closes the assessment loop.
Improving Unit Assessment Processes
After completing Phase 3, staff should be provided an opportunity to recommend improvements to the unit’s assessment processes.
Possible recommendations could include:
- Identifying the need for more, or different, measures for specific objectives.
- Determining the need to streamline the process of collecting information.
- Identifying additional staff members who should be involved in assessment activities.