A Process for Improvement
Self assessment using the Public Works Management Practices Manual
is a valuable tool for determining how an agency's policies, procedures and practices compare to recommended practices identified by nationally recognized experts in the field of public works. Agencies can use the recommended practices contained in the manual as a model for developing or improving existing practices to enhance performance, increase productivity, and to strengthen employee morale.
The self assessment process can be used simply as a checklist or as a major element in the process of strategic planning. Self assessment involves a thorough, agency-wide evaluation of current management and operations policies, practices and procedures, referred to as "management practices," or simply "practices." The process assumes that the agency already has a fundamentally sound corporate culture which is ready for embarking on a process of improvement. The process and the manual are useful means of identifying deficiencies which need correction in order to develop a healthy organization. Self assessment is not a substitute for sound management practices, it is a tool for allowing an agency to identify where the organization can make improvements and offers examples of sound management practices.
Completion of this self assessment program also serves as an important step toward agency accreditation
. Accreditation is a distinction bestowed on agencies that have used the self assessment process to assist in developing a strategic plan for the agency. Once the self assessment has been completed, agencies will be required to establish goals for complying with recommended practices that are appropriate for the agency. The accreditation process also includes an evaluation by an accreditation team who will perform an on-site evaluation and review of documentation produced during the accreditation process.