Focus On FLATE Operations – A Closer View: SIPOC is not a Mythology Monster, Its A Nationally Recognized Evaluation Tool

Last month we touched upon this topic with a focus on the operational aspect of FLATE and what it takes to establish an effective/seamless organizational structure. This month we take a look at the same topic from an evaluation standpoint. The Florida Sterling Model (the Baldridge Model in Florida, http://fl-ate.org/about-us/sterling-evaluation) drives FLATE’s Evaluation Plan. The path for FLATE’s success is an evaluation structure that keeps FLATE off of the winding yellow brick road, but straight on a route to accomplishing FLATE objectives successfully. The SIPOC, or the Supplier, Input, Process, Output/Outcome, Customer/Stakeholder tool is FLATE’s key tool for that journey.



Imbedded within the SIPOC is FLATE’s Strategic Hierarchy (Click here for more info). This Hierarchy defines Sterling’s Activity, Program, and Organization levels in ascending order. The base level, Activity Level, is where all of FLATE’s projects are executed, and monitored. Project governance is within the Program Level. The centrist role belongs to the Organization Level. This Activity Level through Program Level to Organization Level hierarchy directs all of FLATE’s energy and resources toward success with the Center’s goals. Effectiveness Measures quantitatively indicate project impact (Click here for more info ). This Sterling structure also comfortably houses FLATE's Logic Model.

FLATE's Logic Model is an EvaluATE style model that is included in FLATE’s SIPOC tool. (The tinted four columns rectangular “frame” within the SIPOC figure illustrated above.) Inputs from FLATE stakeholders enable FLATE work systems (processes) as evaluated from effectiveness measure data to produce outputs that lead to the successful Outcomes (grant goals). Logic Model Outcomes also provide specific and global information for the Leadership Team and NSF-ATE’s program manager to assess the ultimate impact of all grant Outcomes.

In summary FLATE’s Sterling structured Evaluation Plan guides the Center by providing:

  • A data analysis and information structure that evaluates process and performance improvement activity for 
    • Greater effectiveness in accomplishing strategies and meeting goals.
    • Higher satisfaction in meeting customer and stakeholder needs and requirements.
  • A factual basis for determining performance in all aspects of operations.
  • A foundation for decision-making aligned with FLDOE, FLATE and NSF objectives.
There are 2 interdependent elements associated with FLATE’s evaluation: 
  • Implementation Evaluation, which analyzes operational strengths and weaknesses of the FLATE organization and its capability to accomplish its strategies, objectives, and goals. 
  • Impact Evaluation, which analyzes various types of data collected at Activity, Program, and Organizational levels to validate FLATE performance with respect to goals and objectives to strive for improvement in work streams, systems, and processes.