Pioneered by Maher & Maher in 2001 to help WIA operators judge their readiness to implement demand-driven approaches to workforce development, client self-assessments, as exemplified by Maher’s Quick Start Action Planners (QSAPs), are unique online development and learning solutions for both public and private clients.
Essentially, a QSAP is a web-based self-assessment tool designed to help the user identify areas of strength and weakness in terms of deciding to undertake a change initiative. The instrument then provides technical assistance resources to assist users in improving areas self-assessed as deficient.
After realizing the utility of QSAPs, we now often begin a new project by having the client self-assess its preparedness to embark on the change being sought. This ensures that we are all on the same page – clients, collaborators and consultants. Those customized self-assessments are then used to inform our work processes and deliverables.
Maher & Maher has designed and developed multiple QSAPs for government clients. Each QSAP was developed using the same principles, but each had a distinctly different focus:
Each QSAP is divided into a number of sections, each of which contains between three and seven major questions, and then a list of “Indicators” that clearly articulate actions to be taken to achieve the indicators. The QSAP user responds with a yes or no answer to each question. When the QSAP is completed, the user is presented with an online report that lists and provides direct links to specific online resources that can be utilized to improve in each issue area, offering users targeted, qualified technical assistance. Thus, the end result of each QSAP is essentially a how-to guide, which can then be used as a training tool and basis for constructing an action plan.
For each past QSAP, and now for targeted client self-assessments, Maher & Maher developed the concept, list of questions, success factors/indicators, action statements, and relevant technical assistance resources that form the basis for the tool. Even though every QSAP is different, the overriding challenge is always the same: To break down policy and interpret requirements and emphases, and translate those into operational statements that reflect solid implementation practices.
Usage statistics from our past QSAPs show that users continue to utilize them and find them to be relevant training tools, sometimes even up to 10 years after their initial production.