AZENet Week: Daily Metrics to Drive Strategic Goals by Martha Franquemont

Hi AEA colleagues! I am Martha Franquemont from the Arizona Department of Economic Security (ADES). I oversee federal and public records reporting for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and support our program leaders and eligibility workers with performance measurement. 

I am a member of the Arizona Evaluation Network (AZENet) and am the Phoenix Region Co-Chair on the board of directors. I became passionate about program evaluation and measuring success when I worked in Mali for Muso and did not realize there was a rich community of fellow practitioners available to me until I attended the 2015 AEA Annual Meeting in Chicago (thanks to the urging of a friend and mentor, Dr. Kim Beckert). It was the most professionally “at home” I had felt since living in Mali, particularly with the global, multicultural theme, so I sought out my local affiliate and got involved. Through AZENet, I value building relationships with smart, interesting people across my state and gaining exposure to exciting new work. 

Until I joined ADES, my interest in performance measurement often focused on longer-term, strategic metrics. What is our theory of change, and how do we measure our impact? However, working in the Arizona Management System (AMS) has given me a newfound love and respect for measuring the day-to-day work required to accomplish that strategic goal, also known as “lead metrics”.

Hot Tip: Define your metrics using the AMS huddle board framework implemented at ADES, which categorizes metrics according to five lens of visual performance management (People, Quality, Service, Cost, Continuous Improvement):

Huddle board framework

Lessons Learned:

  • Focus on the people you serve – Reflect on what groups of people you serve and center your metrics around service to your client(s): who does our work serve? What do our clients expect of us, and how are we meeting/not meeting their expectations? How can we better serve our client?
  • Understand what work you do and how you do it – Gain a clear understanding of what you produce and the core processes required to focus attention on what matters most when creating metrics: what do you produce for your client, why, and how? What is your value to your client? 
  • Create metrics appropriate for your level of leadership – metrics show what is working and not working in a process and therefore should reflect processes for which the leaders reviewing the metrics are directly responsible: what processes are my direct responsibility? What problems are visible in these metrics (e.g., missed deadlines), and who is the right person to solve that problem?
  • Use lead metrics to inform strategy – Mission and strategy are the basis for the work and foundational for creating metrics, but lead metrics function as a daily pulse on your progress to reaching long-term goals and can be used to inform strategy: how do we know if we are on track to meet our long-term strategic goal? Why are we not seeing the progress we expect, and how can we problem-solve and/or pivot accordingly?

Rad Resources:

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