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Kansas MTSS Progress Tracker

Ted Kriwiel

An overview of transforming a spreadsheet process into a wireframe for Kansas MTSS.

We recently started a project with our friends at Kansas MTSS to turn a spreadsheet process into software that improves how Kansas MTSS collaborates. The spreadsheet we used as inspiration for the software served as the framework for how Kansas MTSS engages with school districts. Content teams use dozens of questions across five domains to evaluate the health of a school district. With around twenty employees and thirty ongoing engagements with school districts, this process started to break down. They asked us to build a software version of their framework.

Initially, we drew from standard project management systems, borrowing the concept of a "task” as the foundational element. This choice seemed logical, aiming to utilize the widespread understanding of tasks as simple to-do items. However, this approach didn't fit Kansas MTSS's needs. Feedback indicated their work involved measuring ongoing progress, not just completing tasks. In our second round of design, we shifted from the concept of "tasks" to focusing on "benchmarks." This language shift informed our design and made it more relevant to their process.

With the new design focusing on benchmarks, we created a wireframe that aimed to replace the spreadsheet and improve how the team collaborates. This wireframe helped Kansas MTSS see how their process could be enhanced with software and allowed their team to visualize the new process. Once they approved, we began developing a prototype. This journey highlights the importance of genuinely listening to your customers and being flexible. Breaking with the traditional project management pattern early saved us a ton of development time and allowed the software we built to reflect Kansas MTSS's work accurately.

In a future post, we will review our prototype and how Kansas MTSS responded.

Learn how we can help. It starts with one small step.