The Management Improvement Model concept is patterned after the Software Engineering Laboratory
(SEL) model of software process/product improvement, developed by the Computer Science Department of the University of Maryland at College Park. The SEL model is a three stage evolutionary scheme based on a feedback loop of goals, questions, and measurements of the effects of changes, all within the structure of previous experiences. The Management Improvement Model was constructed for flat organizations, such as school administrations that do similar work but are separate, independent entities.
The Management Improvement Model consists of Stages (Understanding, Assessment, and Implementation) that describe general points of achievement in the improvement process, and processes that describe what is needed to reach each
Stage (see diagram below).
The Management Improvement Model follows the philosophy that you can't change what you don't understand. At this Stage, an understanding of the current process is gained by doing a thorough analysis. A characterization of the current situation relative to a proposed improvement is proposed, goals are set, and some initial planning is done.
The Assessment Stage begins by asking questions about the goals to further describe the proposed change. A review of similar organizations is done to see if the proposed change has already been implemented elsewhere, and what lessons were learned. Planning is completed and modifications to implement the proposed change are made. Data is collected on all experiences.
The Implementation Stage installs the new process and monitors the effects relative to the old method. Necessary training and adjustments are made. Data continues to be collected on all experiences. If the new process proves to be an improvement over the old one, a new baseline is established for further changes. If the new method is unsuccessful, the old method is reinstalled and this experience is documented for future efforts.
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Howard Jeffrey Bender, Ph.D.
The Education Process Improvement Center, Inc.
11970 Grey Squirrel Lane
Reston, Virginia 20194