If an organisation provides a service, how do they know how well it is being delivered if they do not utilize effective monitoring and evaluation processes? How do they fulfil reporting requirements and ensure an appropriate audit trail? The reality is that for many private and public sector organizations services are delivered ‘blind’ – that is, without any transparent idea of quality, cost, or reliability. On the journey to maturity, the next step is often to track data in spreadsheets – a method that also requires manual data management, taking up valuable employee time, and often leads to loss of data and issues with validity. So, how to overcome the issue?
Rethinking how we evaluate
Government organizations are now proactively looking at technology solutions to provide automated monitoring, evaluation and reporting that insights of value. There are a variety of software solutions available on the market and it is typically advisable to use the services of a trusted technology specialist that is vendor-agnostic. With expert advice, organizational requirements and suitable software options will quickly be identified. And, to streamline the process further, your specialist can also manage the implementation and ensure all data feeds and reports are set up for optimum results.
Starting with the framework
The technology implementation does not come first – initially, as the organization, you decide what you want to measure, why, and how. Some of this data might already be captured, and some might not be. Therefore, a framework for the monitoring and evaluation system is developed and, as with all measures and KPIs, all framework elements should follow the SMART plan: Specific, Measureable, Accurate, Reliable, and Timely.
Following the initial planning phase, you will work with your specialist to develop a balanced scorecard, or multiple scorecards, that combine different KPIs dependent on the reporting that is required. It is important to involve a number of employees within the organization in these discussions to ensure an effective roll-out of change management.
Benefitting from improved optimization
Governments who move from manual to automated monitoring and evaluation should expect the following benefits: the client is better able to:
- Employees, senior management, and stakeholders have more accurate data and reporting accuracy.
- Access to a wider range of reports to aid decision making.
- A trusted audit trail.
- Reduce employee time spent producing reports which in turn will reduce expenditure on monitoring and reporting.
- Minimizing the loss of data as it is centralized and not held locally by employees who may leave the organization.
- Standardization of data capture and reporting across the government organization.
Full automation from fay one
Full automation is the key objective here but it is important to note that governments should not expect to achieve a comprehensive remedy after the initial implementation. As with most migrations, an intermediate step of semi-automation is typically wiser and in the long term more effective. It also gives time for employees to become familiar with the changes to their manual processes, to new automation, helping organization to build trust and appreciation of the new system and processes.
Get in touch to discuss your requirements and to find out how ITCL can help improve your organizational monitoring and evaluation processes.