No matter how you choose to conduct the self-assessment, there are three main steps to follow: Prepare, Facilitate, and Follow-up. Here are some things to consider at each stage of the process:
Create a Message. Understanding why program self-assessment is important and how it leads to quality improvement will help you craft your message.
Set Up for Success. Work with program leaders and organizational supervisors prior to starting the process to determine how outcomes of the self-assessment process will be turned into actions.
Know the Big Picture. Before involving others, complete the QSA Tool yourself. This will help you keep the big picture in mind as the group discusses each section.
Invite Them. Send out a formal invitation that lets everyone know what to expect and what their role will be.
Plan Ahead. Allow ample time for the process.
Get Acquainted. When meeting in person, consider beginning with community building activities or icebreakers.
Establish the Tone. Refresh people’s understanding of the QSA Tool and their role in the process, and ask participants to brainstorm ground rules for working successfully as a group.
Keep Track. Ask someone to take notes on feedback and suggestions.
Emphasize the Positive. Identify the strength of everyone involved and acknowledge their investment in the program’s success.
Share. Ask the group to share lessons learned and recommendations for enhancing the self-assessment process.
Appreciate. Acknowledge everyone’s contributions and recognize successes.
Communicate. If it is hard to get people together to debrief, consider putting information in an e-mail. Providing people with an opportunity to discuss and reflect on the results is extremely important, no matter how you do it.