Administrative Review: Broad Reaching Evaluation of an Organization

Authors

  • Merry Moiseichik
  • Jean Hughes

Keywords:

administrative review, management audit, benchmarking, triangulation, best practices, nominal group process, standards, internal review

Abstract

Administrative research is a method of evaluating the processes within an agency to create new perspectives. This evaluation method examines all administrative functions simultaneously to determine solutions that consider the “big picture”. This evaluative research method provides administrators with the keys to consolidating many evaluation techniques into one comprehensive study. When an administrator completes an administrative review, he/she has the tools to move to a preferred future with knowledge that all elements of the agency have been considered in designing a best practices plan.This article describes the method using examples from seven studies completed by the authors. The process starts with a catalyst that spurs an administrator to examine the organization as a whole. This catalyst can be positive or negative. Both a new facility opening or a failed bond issue can lead to concerns that the administrative practices need to be reviewed. Triangulation is used to identify the issues by capitalizing on as many perspectives as possible to determine all aspects of the issue.Described in this paper are methods for performing interviews, using demographics, conducting town meetings, comparing standards and benchmarks, and evaluating city documents to determine community issues. The review then examines best practices of other organizations and retrofits them to the issues of the agency undergoing the administrative review. This is followed by an action plan and implementation of the solution.After the discussion of the methodology, the difficulty of implementing a review is explored. There are several internal issues that need to be considered while doing a review. Slippage between policy and action plans, creation of discord as the agency is critiqued, the fear of change and the development of a poor plan must be anticipated before the onset of the project. The last section of the article discusses who should conduct the study. The pros and cons of using outside consultants or someone inside the organization are considered.

Published

2003-07-18

Issue

Section

Programs That Work