ACTION PLANNING FOR POSTQUALITY ASSURANCE REVIEWS* Professor Andrew S Downes Pro Vice Chancellor University Office of Planning and Development University of the West Indies *Quality Assurance Unit Workshop on Action Planning for Implementation, March 6, 2015 OUTLINE OF PRESENTATION Quality Issues in Strategic Planning Action Planning Framework Project Management Tools for Action Planning Some Considerations for Departments QUALITY ISSUES IN STRATEGIC PLANNING Strategic Planning sets out the long term direction for the organization in a coordinated and systematic manner— mission, vision, goals/objectives and broad strategies and initiatives UWI’s Strategic Plan 2012-2017 contains several references to the quality dimension of strategic planning: QUALITY ISSUES IN STRATEGIC PLANNING – – – – – The delivery of accredited quality programmes at reasonable cost (basis of competitive advantage) The provision of high quality customer (staff and students) service (IOP perspective) Improvement in the quality of the working conditions of staff (EED perspective) Recruitment and Retention of high quality staff and students (Outreach perspective) Improvement and harmonization of quality assurance practices and processes across the campuses (T&L perspective) QUALITY ISSUES IN STRATEGIC PLANNING Quality Assurance Review Process involves: – – – Internal Evaluation including the preparation of a Self Assessment Report by department/discipline members External Evaluation by an external review team Action Plan to respond to the agreed recommendations of the review process The key objective of the exercise is to enhance the academic and administrative quality of the department/discipline’s operations ACTION PLANNING FRAMEWORK Action Planning is a key element of the overall planning process in an organization especially during the implementation or execution phase. McChesney-Covey’s Four Disciplines of Execution: – – – – Focus on the wildly important goals/objectives Act on ‘lead’ indicators which measure the key activities that must be undertaken to achieve goals/objectives Keep a compelling scorecard to monitor progress and communicate to stakeholders Create a cadence of accountability ACTION PLANNING FRAMEWORK In the context of the QARs, action planning refers to the process whereby a department translates the agreed recommendations into executable, measurable and accountable actions to achieve the goal of enhancing the quality dimension of its operation. Action planning is also part of the institutional effectiveness process and proposed Quality Management System. ACTION PLANNING FRAMEWORK For each recommendation, the action planning process requires the specification of – – – – – Key objectives of actions ( what); Output(s) ( what for); Strategies/activities (how) Responsibilities (who) Timelines (when) The Template for an Action Plan is given as: Recommen dation/Acti on to be taken Objective( S) Initiative(s) Success Indicator(s) Resources Required (budget) Start Date Completio n date Party(ies) Responsibl e Collaborat ors Risk Factors ACTION PLANNING FRAMEWORK Over the planning period, progress with the activities/initiatives will be monitored and evaluated— measurement and data collection will be critical The Reporting Template for the Action Plan would cover: – – – – Action Initiative Progress to date Reason for Variance PROJECT MANAGEMENT TOOLS FOR ACTION PLANNING Action Planning involves the design and management of projects (i.e. a series of tasks directed towards a specific outcome/goal) Action planning therefore involves the use of three (3) key project management tools: – – – Logical Framework (LF) Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Gantt Chart (GC) PROJECT MANAGEMENT TOOLS FOR ACTION PLANNING The Logical Framework (Logframe): – A methodology/tool for planning, managing and evaluating programmes, projects and operations and involves the following: Problem analysis Analysis of objectives Analysis of strategies Design of activity and resource schedules Stakeholder analysis Preparation of the Logframe LOGICAL FRAMEWORK MATRIX Narrative Summary Verifiable Indicators (OVI) GOAL PURPOSE OUTPUTS ACTIVITIES Inputs Means of Verification (MOV) Important Assumptions Project Structure Indicators of Achievement Means of Verification Important Assumptions and Risks GOAL: What are the wider objectives which the activity will help achieve? (Longer term impact) What are the measures/indicators/ju dgement to determine goal achievement? What sources of information exist or can be provided to allow the goal to be measured? What external factors are necessary to sustain the objectives in the long run? PURPOSE: What are the intended immediate effects of project? What changes will activity bring? What are the benefits, to whom? What are the measures/indicators to judge achievement of purpose? What sources of information exist or can be provided to allow the achievement of purpose to be measured? What external factors are necessary if the purpose is to contribute to achievement of the goal? OUTPUTS: What deliverables are to be produce to achieve the purpose What kind and quality of outputs and by when will they be produced? ( Quantity/Quality/Time) What are the sources of information to verify the achievement of the outputs? What are the factors not in control of the project which are liable to restrict the outputs achieving the purpose? ACTIVITIES: What must be achieved to get the What kind and quality of activities and by when will they be What are the sources of information to verify the What factors will restrict the activities from creating the outputs? PROJECT MANAGEMENT TOOLS FOR ACTION PLANNING Work Breakdown Structure(WBS) – – Simply subdivides a complicated task into smaller tasks until a level is reached where further subdivision is not feasible. It assist with the estimation of time, costs and resources associated with the project/tasks WBS does not show the sequence in which work is performed hence a scheduling tool is needed. PROJECT MANAGEMENT TOOLS FOR ACTION PLANNING Gantt Chart: – Show the amount of work done or task completed in certain periods of time in relation to the amount planned for those periods – A graphical method of presenting information on work completed within a scheduling arrangement Drawback of Gantt chart—determining the impact of a slip of one task on the other tasks of a project can be difficult. Other scheduling tools have been developed: – Critical Path Method (CPM) – Performance Evaluation and Review Technique(PERT) SOME CONSIDERATIONS FOR DEPARTMENTS Carefully review the recommendations of the QA of discipline/department Identify reasonable/doable key recommendations in light of the strategic/operational plans---use retreat, brainstorming etc List the benefits of the undertaking the agreed recommendations—VC’s Award for Excellence!! Develop an Action Plan using the PM tools— measurement, data collection, accountability Review progress with the Action Plan.