Measure the Effectiveness of Your Case Conferencing Practice

November 18, 2019

From the Case Conferencing Action Pack

Evaluate your practice and your results

  • Select a couple of key measures that will indicate if your meeting is accomplishing its purpose. Collect data and check it after every one or two meetings. Your case conferencing meeting should produce a measurable impact. Study the results and keep making changes until you fulfill your objectives!
  • At the end of a meeting, take 5 minutes for an informal evaluation. Remind the team of the objectives you set and ask, In what ways did this meeting fulfill its purpose? Then ask, Next time, it would be better if we did ____? Repeat this evaluation periodically or after you’ve made changes to the facilitation.

Select measures related to system outcomes

  • Moving clients through the process
    • How many clients on the list have a clear next step?
    • How many clients have a housing plan?
  • Target move-in dates (see Facilitate the meeting for action: Set target move-in dates)
    • How many move-in dates were set?
    • Percentage of the list with a target move-in date within the next month
    • How many clients moved in by their target move-in date within the past month?
    • Capture predictions: Once your team has set target move-in dates for clients, ask them to predict the by-name list count a month from now. Track the prediction and learn from it.
  • Housing placements
    • Measure your weekly or two-week housing rate instead of monthly.
  • Length of time
    • For a segment of the housing process, e.g. from match to move-in
    • For a segment of your list, e.g. chronic veterans

Select measures related to racial equity and system quality

  • Reduce number of program rejections of clients: Often time-limited or site-based programs have particular requirements for program participation. Sometimes those requirements are for the well-being of clients. However, sometimes those requirements are barriers to reduce interactions with clients that are labeled “difficult” due to behavior, documented status, LGBTQ identity, race, or disability.
  • Reduce number of client refusals of certain programs: If clients are refusing certain programs or voluntarily leaving programs after move-in, use case conferencing to analyze the issue and improve the matching process. For example, youth may reject participation with a provider that has not prioritized cultural competency and humility; or a client who has indicated hesitancy to be matched with a roommate may reject a program that decides to pair them with a roommate.
  • Reduce process time for specific populations represented on the BNL: If you find that people of color or LGBTQ youth are over-represented on your list, spotlight this issue in case conferencing and set aside time to prioritize these clients.
  • Reduce process time for people in different ranges of vulnerability score

Select measures related to meeting effectiveness

  • How many “next steps” set or commitments were made today? If case conferencing does not produce action, then it may not deliver value for your community.
  • What percentage of “next steps” from the last meeting were executed? Assign a person to count and report back. Tracking this number will tell you if your meeting is successfully sparking action or if it merely feels effective.
  • If you like surveys: Try the magical 2-question Net Promoter System method. Ask a question like, How likely would you be to recommend this meeting to a colleague? with a scale from 0-10. Then ask the free-response question, What is your main reason for that answer? People will tell you what they most like about the meeting or what they most want to change. You’ll also be able to evaluate if your team’s experience of the meeting is aligning with your intentions. The important part is to report back to respondents on what you learned—and make changes!
  • What percentage of meeting attendees spoke? If the number is low, it may indicate an updates-heavy meeting, or you may need to adjust how you’re inviting people to contribute.
    • If a person rarely speaks, find a moment to ask them one-on-one about their experience of the meeting. How could this time be more useful to them and their clients? How can you set them up to contribute to housing others’ clients? Their feedback will help you run a better meeting. The exchange may also create an opportunity for that person to drop out of the meeting if it’s no longer mutually beneficial.
  • How many minutes of your meeting time discussed topics other than housing clients? If community or system issues are taking more than a few minutes, change the facilitation.
  • Beware of using attendance as a measure! Radical dips to your attendance may signal an issue, but remember that you can have fantastic attendance for an ineffective meeting. And vice versa!