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Eyes on LAO

Project Takes The Measure of Success at Legal Aid Ontario

Posted on: Wednesday, March 12 /08

In order to manage, you must measure -- the best decisions are based on accurate information. That's the philosophy behind Legal Aid Ontario's three-year Performance Measurement project to chart progress within the organization as it rolls out its innovative management strategy.

The aim of the Performance Measures initiative is to provide information for strategic planning, account for spending, allow for timely adjustments as issues arise, and guarantee continuous improvement across the organization.

The performance measurement system will allow LAO to monitor and report on how well it is promoting access to justice for low-income individuals and providing consistently high quality legal aid services in an effective and efficient manner.

Touchstone of LAO's Management Strategy

Accurate "measurement" of performance using modern tools is one of the five touchstones of LAO's management strategy: The "IMPAC" principles of Innovation, Measurement, Prioritization, Accountability and Co-ordination that are driving every level of operation at Legal Aid Ontario.

Having gained prominence in the private sector, the "Logic Model" adopted for LAO's measurement project is widely used by progressive organizations to describe how a program should work and how "success" should be defined.

Performance Measurement's Focus

The model provides a road map of problems and challenges that need to be negotiated along the way to reach the desired destination.

The Performance Measurement project will focus on four areas: Financial, Internal Processes, Legal Services Programs and Employee Engagement.

It will include an LAO-wide survey of all employees to gather opinions on a comprehensive range of activities, identify areas for improvement and develop an action plan.

The process will rely on an integrated approach that engages all regions and stakeholders as well to ensure they all become involved in LAO's goals and successes.

Those goals include such things as using Internet technology to provide greater online access to LAO services and to achieve high client satisfaction with the quality of lawyer services, among others.

The measurement project will be rolled out in seven stages - from planning to approval - and coincides with another initiative: the new Internal Audit and Program Evaluation Unit at LAO.