Focus On FLATE Operations – A Closer View on Our Real-time Evaluation Protocol

This series on FLATE Operations began in July and continues this month with a brief discussion of our Real-time Evaluation Protocol (REP). FLATE's Evaluation Plan is the Center's Sterling Management Program-based guide (the Baldridge Model in Florida, http://fl-ate.org/about-us/sterling-evaluation/) used by the Leadership Team to provide:
  • The structural integrity that supports FLATE’s Logic Model
  • Data analysis and information support for process and performance improvement activity for: 
    • Greater effectiveness in accomplishing strategies and meeting goals
    • Higher satisfaction in meeting needs and requirements of customers and stakeholders
  • A foundation for decision-making aligned with FLATE and NSF objectives
The Supplier, Input, Process, Output/Outcome, Customer/Stakeholder (SIPOC) tool (discussed in the August 2016 FLATE Focus) is the instrument used to execute our Real-time, Evaluation Protocol. This protocol is our formal way to analyze information to assess the ultimate effectiveness of our NSF and other agency grant funded required Outcomes. The REP uses two interdependent evaluation elements:
  • Implementation Evaluation which includes an analysis of the operational strengths
    and weaknesses of our organization, and its capability to accomplish its strategies, objectives, and goals. Identified program strengths, opportunities for improvement, and recommendations make sure that FLATE satisfies its partners and stakeholders as to its performance and success. Implementation Evaluation results assure stakeholders that FLATE operates in a manner that is consistent with industry-recognized best business management practices and help FLATE achieve its NSF grant goals. 
An implicit element of the Implementation Evaluation is FLATE’s Organizational Profile. The Profile describes our internal working environment. It also defines the external environment in terms of partners, customers, and stakeholders, as well as the relationships with them. Profile documentation describes organizational strategic challenges and advantages and key factors to achieve success. 

FLATE’s Implementation Evaluation considers each specific FLATE activity as it relates to
NSF work streams (curriculum, professional development, and outreach). Implementation Evaluation criteria provide a framework to:
    • Enhance FLATE’s productivity, cost effectiveness, continuous improvement, and improved bottom line effectiveness by driving FLATE to focus on information that generates positive results and meaningful impact. 
    • Eliminate project activities that are not effectively and efficiently moving the project to the specified objective that supports the designated goal
  • Impact Evaluation includes analysis of the various types of data collected at the Sterling Activity, Program, and Organizational levels. It validates performance with respect to goals and objectives to strive for improvement in work streams, systems, and processes. Impact Evaluation monitors and tracks performance progress of every FLATE activity as reflected in data collection and analysis. 

The REP includes quantitative Effectiveness Measures sets developed for FLATE’s objective focused activities that lead to goal completion. Regular analysis and review of the status of these Effectiveness Measures generates modification information as necessary to alter the course of the activity and/or collect data that give better information for improving FLATE processes and systems. This analysis also provides information as to whether FLATE is on target to accomplish its strategies as framed by its goals. 

For more information on FLATE and its organizational modules and structure visit www.fl-ate.org, or contact Executive Director of FLATE, Dr. Marilyn Barger at barger@fl-ate.org