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. The limitations of ASBCS’ current software platform were creating challenges for staff and citizen that interacted with the agency. 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.
MSS Business Transformation Advisory (MSSBTA) was initially engaged to conduct a 6-week formal requirements gathering effort and gap analysis on the existing system to finalize ASBCS’ requirements and identify new software that adequately matched the agency’s current and future business needs.
During the initial engagement, MSSBTA performed requirements gathering, a needs assessment, and completed online platform evaluations. Deliverables provided to ASBCS included a business requirements document, gap and impact analysis report, and a technology modernization roadmap to move ASBCS’ technology and business operations from its current state to a desired future state.
These deliverables served as foundational documents for the second engagement that included a new software selection and implementation Decision Package that was delivered to the Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting (OSPB).
The second engagement began with MSSBTA consultants reaching out to similar organizations across the nation to understand what solutions are being leveraged by other agencies, how well the solutions were meeting organizational requirements and needs, and to document the level of end-user satisfaction with the solutions. Through this market and industry research, a list of potential vendors was developed and was compared to ASBCS’ new requirements.
MSSBTA consultants then solicited the potential vendors for a self-assessment against the documented requirements and scheduled a series of demos with the vendors who were best suited to address the agency’s requirements and needs. Following the demos, MSSBTA consultants requested non-binding 5-year TCO estimates and provided vendor reviews for ASCBS, leading to the development of a formal business case and budget request.
MSSBTA consultants documented the Business Case and compiled all the information into an Agency Decision Package for the Governor’s office.
Throughout the research phase of the project, MSSBTA consultants conducted weekly touchpoints with the Client Sponsor and kept both ASET and OSPB informed of progress and results.
Formal Business Case
Decision Package Results
On a tight timeline, MSSBTA delivered a comprehensive Decision Package to the Governor’s Office. This package documented the assessment of the existing platform against the Agency’s requirements, a gap assessment, impact analysis, and a proposed modernization roadmap. The Agency Decision Package also included the thorough market research utilized to define the potential go-forward solution, a 5-year Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) estimate for the new software platform, the Business Case to transition to a new platform, and third-party analysis and review on software vendor capabilities and “fit”.
Even in a tough economic climate and budgetary cycle, ASCBS anticipates approval of the appropriation due to the quality of the Decision Package and the well-substantiated business case.
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