Legislative Effectiveness Standing Committee Meeting

August 8-11, 2011

San Antonio, Texas

Meeting Session: 21st Century Self-Assessment: A New Tool for Legislative Agencies
Overview and Faculty:

NCSL introduced a self-assessment guide for legislative agencies, helping them focus on values, behaviors and management benchmarks to identify priorities for change. Crafted by legislative staff leaders, this tool will help you to stay on top of shifting legislative demands.


  • Julie Pelegrin, Assistant Director, Office of Legislative Legal Services, Colorado
  • Brian Weberg, Group Director, Legislative Management Program, NCSL
  • Doug Sacarto, Director , NCSL Information Technology and On-line Services Program
Summary: The NCSL Self-Assessment Guide for Legislative Staff Organizations is a customized survey tool that provides insights into organizational strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement. The presenters described the development of the tool in NCSL’s Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee, as influenced by NCSL’s own management studies and widely accepted standards of organizational and managerial effectiveness and performance. The assessment survey questions rely heavily on benchmarks and practices presented in the Baldridge performance criteria, the research of Jim Collins (Good to Great) and the writings of Peter Drucker.

The survey addresses six performance areas:

  • Leadership
  • Organization planning and performance
  • Management
  • Employee and workplace development
  • Information management and process improvement
  • Customer focus/results orientation

The presenters led the participants through the survey and showed how a person could choose a rating and weight (priority) for each question. They also showed how directors could distribute the survey to a group of people and compile a group report, as well as see a summary chart with results measured against benchmark standards and an indication of problem and priority areas. Testing and refinement of the guide will continue throughout the summer and fall.