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The Best Practices in Program Portfolio Evaluation - Running an Effective Program Portfolio Evaluation Process

  1. Confidential 1Confidential Academic Program Selection and Assessment How to Choose Which Programs to Start, Stop, Sustain, or Grow April 2017
  2. Confidential 2 Goal for Today’s Session §  Share an overall approach, and best practices, for an integrated program portfolio evaluation process –  Participants –  Process –  Analysis –  Integration
  3. Confidential 3 Agenda 1.  Where do you start? 2.  From Data to Evaluation 3.  Key Take-Aways
  4. Confidential 4 But first…
  5. Confidential 5 Make sure there is nothing major blocking the path to a decision-making process. Before You Begin… Photo source:
  6. Confidential 6 Before You Begin… It is important to understand: §  Programs have life-cycles §  You are ready to identify where each of your programs are §  Doing this once is helpful, doing this systematically creates strength §  This is not something to be done ‘behind closed doors’ Check out the organization’s assumptions surrounding program evaluation. No process will overcome unidentified assumptions.
  7. Confidential 7 So, where do you start?
  8. Confidential 8 Thousands of Potential Programs… Everyone has a favorite program…
  9. Confidential 9 Limitless Possibilities Everyone has a favorite market metric and source of data.
  10. Confidential 10 Integrating Data and Knowledge A program portfolio occupies two dimensions, and both are important to its evaluation. Inside the Four Walls §  Standards §  Faculty §  Facilities §  Cost Outside the Four Walls §  Student Interest §  Employment Demand §  Competitive Intensity §  Your market area Evaluating a portfolio requires more than just data. It requires a process.
  11. Confidential 11 First: Identify the Markets You Serve Where do your students come from?
  12. Confidential 12 Schools often serve more than one market, state or region. Are You National or Local…or Both? Campus A Campus B
  13. Confidential 13 Second: Confirm Strategy Check it out - Have you drifted? Anchor the portfolio evaluation in your institution’s strategy and mission.
  14. Confidential 14 Third: Decide What is Important What are your priorities? What market factors are key for your institution? Student Demand Employment Opportunities Degree Fit Competitive Intensity
  15. Confidential 15 Fourth: Walk Through The Data Comparisons to other programs help you interpret the data, find opportunities, see problem areas. 100,000Program X 8,690 9.4% 39,721 -664
  16. Confidential 16 Agenda 1.  Where do you start? 2.  From Data to Evaluation 3.  Key Take-Aways
  17. Confidential 17 From Data to Evaluation: Process This is a well-tested and successful process for looking at a portfolio and deciding what programs to “Start, Stop, Sustain, or Grow.” 1. Data and Scoring 2. Workshop 3. Follow-up §  Uses facts and data effectively §  Incorporates judgment of key stakeholders §  Identifies the best new programs, not just “good enough” programs §  Earns the understanding and buy-in of key stakeholders §  Positions the organization for next steps –  Creating an action plan for teaching out, sustaining, fixing, or growing existing programs
  18. Confidential 18 From Data to Evaluation: Process Why does it work? Inside the Four Walls Outside the Four Walls Image Source: §  The process is transparent §  It is cross-discipline, cross-functional §  Uses quantitative data to inform, Academic and Operational knowledge to decide §  It creates alignment
  19. Confidential 19 Where Do You Want to Spend Your Energy?
  20. Confidential 20 Cooperative and Transparent Process Good program decisions take more than numbers…they take intellectual capital and teaming. Workshop participants should include: •  Academic Leaders and Partners •  Enrollment/Admissions •  Finance •  Marketing •  Operations •  Institutional Effectives •  Student Services •  Career Services •  ….and others with a stake and knowledge
  21. Confidential 21 The agenda will vary depending on the number of campuses, the number of award levels, and whether the focus is on existing programs, new programs, or both. From Data to Evaluation: Workshop Agenda Sample Workshop Agenda Day 1 Review Workshop Objectives Explain Approach to Program Selection Decide how to Decide Refine Program Scoring Select New Programs Day 2 Match New Programs to Campuses/Online Discuss Current Programs: Grow/Sustain/Fix/Stop Wrap Up 1. Data and Scoring 2. Workshop 3. Follow-up
  22. Confidential 22 Collaboration and Decision Approach Collaboration foundations: The degree to which people feel a process, decision or outcome is theirs The degree to which people see and understand the problem in the same way The trait of believing in the honesty and reliability of the other Decision Models: A Sample Person-in-Charge Decides Without Group Discussion Person-in-Charge Decides After Group Discussion Majority Vote Unanimous Agreement Red Yellow Green §  Ownership: §  Alignment: §  Trust:
  23. Confidential 23 The workshop will produce an agreed upon view of your current portfolio, and identified new program opportunities. From Data to Evaluation: The Output The Master Scorecard
  24. Confidential 24 The Workshop is Just the Start…. There will be plenty of work after the workshop. 1. Data and Scoring 2. Workshop 3. Follow-up §  Gap analysis for existing programs: For existing programs that are underperforming in attracting or placing students, what are the reasons, and are they fixable? §  Deep dives on specific potential new programs –  Employment opportunities: Who are the likely employers? What skills and credentials are most important in their hiring processes? –  Competitor programs: What content do they cover? How do they position the program in their marketing materials? Do they target specific types of students with specific credentials? Do they indicate what they expect their students to do with their new credential? How long are those programs, and how are they priced? –  Financial analysis –  Regulatory analysis –  Accreditation analysis –  Identification of clinical/externship sites (if needed) §  Planning, development, and launch of new programs
  25. Confidential 25 The Goal: A Vibrant Institution
  26. Confidential 26 Agenda 1.  Where do you start? 2.  From Data to Evaluation 3.  Key Take-Aways
  27. Confidential 27 Key Take-Aways §  Don’t ignore any of the big market elements when you’re evaluating programs. –  Student demand –  Job opportunities –  Competitive intensity –  Degree fit §  Each data element has some flaws or limitations. That’s why we have people. J §  Don’t ignore institutional knowledge, but don’t allow it to dictate either. §  Analyzing programs requires a process that respects and engages key stakeholders. §  Data can inform, and should, but it is management and academic judgement that is required to reach informed choices. Leverage institutional knowledge and expertise – Engage it! The most important take-away is the simplest: you have the ability to consistently, comprehensively and cooperatively evaluate programs based on market conditions.
  28. Confidential 28 For More Information… To contact Gray Associates: Mary Upchurch Senior Partner Gray Associates, Inc. 480-390-7230