Arizona State Board for Charter Schools (ASBCS) is the regulator for Arizona charter schools and is the largest charter authorizer in Arizona. The Board is responsible for overseeing over 550 public charter schools operating under a contract with the Board.
The Board enables private citizens and entities within Arizona to apply for charter school designation and licensing. It oversees charter school performance and ensures the implementation of charter school corrective actions. ASBCS works with the Arizona Department of Education in establishing and implementing performance standards for public schools and works directly with charter schools on achieving performance goals.
Arizona State Board of Charter Schools (ASBCS)
State Agency responsible for approving and monitoring charter schools in Arizona
The Arizona legislature that oversees ASBCS’ activities and performance released a mandate requiring ASBCS to perform and report on a large number of new activities when providing oversight to Arizona charter schools. ASBCS was operating older software that was outdated and difficult to modify and update, limiting their ability to comply with the mandate and to support day-to-day activities such as accepting new applications or searching for a category of public school. The limitations of ASBCS’ current software platform were creating challenges for staff and citizen that interacted with the agency. The ASBCS management team and staff recognized the existing software had significant limitations, as staff members had established process work-arounds to complete daily tasks.
Based on the limited functionality of the current software, ASBCS recognized that they would not be able to complete and report on the additional tasks as mandated by the Arizona legislature due to the age and limitations of the existing operations software. ASBCS also understood that to successfully oversee Arizona charter schools, fulfill the mandate of the legislature, and meet the demands and needs of their constituents, they would need a new software application to transform daily operations.
MSS Business Transformation Advisory (MSSBTA) was engaged to conduct a 6-week formal requirements gathering effort and gap analysis on the existing system to finalize agency business requirements and identify new software that adequately matched the agency’s current and future business needs.
MSSBTA utilized Leadership, Governance, and Accountability (LGA) throughout the ASBCS engagement. This approach enabled the MSSBTA project team to get stakeholders aligned with the project timeline and ensured buy-in from the external board that governs ASBCS. Utilizing LGA throughout the engagement helped to rapidly identify, rank, and prioritize critical agency business requirements so the team could clearly define the features and functionality they needed in a new software platform.
Through formal assessments, MSSBTA conducted primary research and interviews with teachers, the charter school associations, Arizona legislative representatives, and various stakeholders to identify shortcomings of the current software and gathered additional needs and agency business requirements for the future.
MSSBTA created an Agency Business Requirements collection document that cataloged and prioritized software requirements into must-have, should-have, and nice-to have categories. MSSBTA was also responsible for identifying gaps in the current software and developing a road map for new software and future needs.
After the 6-week engagement, ASBCS had a clear understanding of their requirements, needs, and how they would move forward with selecting new software. MSSBTA documented business requirements designed to sustain ASBCS’ future needs and introduced new operating process flows that would help the organization accomplish business objectives.
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