THE KANSANS CAN VISION THROUGH STRATEGIC PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT
“Kansas leads the world in the success of each student,” is the vision for education set by the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) in its Kansans CAN initiative. To achieve this vision, KSDE Commissioner Randy Watson called on the Central Comprehensive Center (C3) at the University of Oklahoma to help develop a strategic plan of action. C3 leveraged its relationship with the Building State Capacity and Productivity (BSCP) Center to employ its Strategic Performance Management (SPM) process. This process links strategic planning with performance management to immerse staff members in performance-guided work directly connected to KSDE’s ambitious vision for a more student-focused system.
KSDE is now in its second year of implementation of the SPM process and continues to experience many triumphs. KSDE staff members engage in a continuous planning loop that allows for teams to examine goals, strategies, and milestones aligning to their everyday work and specific KSDE initiatives. The SPM plan goals are based on the Kansas State Board of Education’s outcomes for measuring progress.
During the first year six goals were developed with aligned strategies, milestones and actions. A cross-divisional KSDE team champions each goal: Social-emotional Character Development (SECD); Kindergarten Readiness; Individual Plans of Study; Graduation; Post-secondary; and Civic Engagement. Teams are comprised of KSDE staff members from different programs and services with a variety of professional skills and unifying commitment across the agency. In this way, collaboration and information is shared across the agency in moving forward to meet the milestones and actions established in the goals. In the second year, two more goals were added, along with two new teams: Operations and Kansas Education Systems Accreditation/School Redesign.
All KSDE employees can access the online SPM system and view reports about the work done by each team. This team approach has enabled KSDE staff members to strengthen collaboration and communication, as well as reduce duplicative work. Because SPM is intended to be a fluid system of achieving goals, KSDE anticipates existing goals will be attained and new ones will be added.
C3 and the BSCP Center continue to provide guidance to KSDE staff members allowing teams to break down silos within the agency. Kansas education has a clear vision of success for each student and now has a tool in SPM to achieve goals. C3 will continue to provide support to KSDE with professional development and planning within the SPM process. This support will help strengthen KSDE’s organizational management and productivity to improve service and support to districts and schools.
Picture collage above of C3, BSCP Center, and KSDE collaborate during Strategic Performance Management meetings. Photos taken by the BSCP Center.
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