Measured Progress

www.measuredprogress.org
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Measured Progress Reviews

Updated February 18, 2015
Updated February 18, 2015
43 Reviews
3.0
43 Reviews
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Martin Borg
22 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Get hired with little to no interview process and work with great people!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Temporary Reader in Longmont, CO
    Current Contractor - Temporary Reader in Longmont, CO

    I have been working at Measured Progress as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly and helpful coworkers and staff. Overall, few complaints!

    Cons

    Scoring same question for days can become tedious. Not guaranteed to stay for an entire assignment if you don't pass initial testing (however, they do everything they can to make sure you do).

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Where is the Board of Directors at Measured Progress?

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Measured Progress

    Pros

    Attractive work setting, location is perfect for people from further up Route 16 as well as the entire seacoast NH/ME/MA area. The majority of Measured Progress employees are high quality individuals and hard working, from line level to upper management. The company provides a number of nice-to-haves including charitable drives, onsite fitness programs, and barbecues in summer. Paid time off at 20+ days is good, although the organizational commitment to true paid time off is changing.

    Cons

    Measured Progress operates mostly as a contractor to states, selling test items, paper-based and online assessment programs, scoring services and reports. It's a human-heavy business with little off the shelf product. The advertising spin is that "it's all about education". In reality, the revenue stream is largely driven by highly customized, and intensely managed state testing programs. The company bills itself as a non-profit, but is more accurately a corporate not-for-profit.

    Measured Progress' competitive position within the industry has changed substantially in the past 5 years. Revenue in 2014 tipped below the $100M per year mark and is in danger of going lower. The scorecard on business won and anecdotal feedback indicates that many prospective clients are aware of the problems within the company. The business acquisition process has become unorganized and speaks to a panicked effort to win any business, regardless whether it aligns with organizational strengths. Senior leadership has tremendous experience in assessment, but a sobering lack of technical aptitude at a time when it is most needed.

    Measured Progress is a fairly large employer for seacoast NH (about 400 FTEs). The company has a tradition of being employee-friendly, but has been resting on its laurels as a premier employer for several years. Many of the advantages that historically offset the raw salaries - generally 20% below local market rate - are going away at a time when the company needs to attract and retain talent. The first sign was the elimination of the onsite daycare program a few years ago. Most recently, the company did not pay out a bonus in 2014 (and it's not like the bonus is exactly enormous) for the first time in about 15 years. RIFs are a yearly occurrence, but now go beyond the underachievers or malcontents. Measured Progress is in the position where they just have to cut dollars/bodies on a regular basis to match the declining revenue. Most telling, and this can't be emphasized enough, is the non-stop exodus of talented and experienced employees, in their 30s and 40s, in the past 2-3 years, from all business units. They have had more than enough and are moving to new jobs.

    The CEO is always quick to point out that the challenges Measured Progress faces, including the latest RIFs in the fall of 2014, are related to the flux of the assessment industry itself. What's not emphasized is a track record of bad decisions and bad bets that have hamstrung the company and lost millions of dollars. A California company acquired a few years ago to support district assessment will be essentially mothballed by mid 2015. The CEO made a decision to align the company's entire strategy with a questionable student data standard (APIP) whose research was never vetted in any refereed academic publications and has faced legal challenges. The 'innovation lab' that promoted the standard was acquired and then dissolved within a few years. The company hired a Chief Information Officer (CIO) - let go in late 2014 after 18 months - whose prior job was CIO in a large edtech publishing company that went from 2 billion to 400 million in sales within a few years, i.e. a company that could not make it over the technology hump. The new CIO is cleaning up the wreckage. The client services group (program management) is now in the same position that the content development and technology business units have been in for some time: understaffed and under-trained with a constantly shifting strategy courtesy of the leadership group. Long term clients, even in the company's backyard of New England, are moving to new vendors.

    Perhaps the biggest question with Measured Progress is the role of the board of directors. Does the board have real insight into the company and its leadership group? Do they care? Most importantly, can they hold the leadership group accountable considering the makeup of the board?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -- Considering the low pay and eroding benefits, Measured Progress is going to have to stop playing the heavy handed salary+benefits card with its employees. It fools no one within the organization.
    -- Younger leaders from inside and outside Measured Progress are needed. Assessment expertise is crucial, and the leadership group has a lot of it. However, you need leaders who are more conversant with technology and post-1980s business operations concepts to grow revenue in the 21st century.
    -- Character is important. Anyone hired into the organization, especially C level, should have real moral/ethical character. Personal career ambition is only a small part of the equation. There have been too many exploitative cowboys in the past 7-8 years who have somehow charmed the CEO.
    -- Figure out a better way to deal with mid- to long-term contractors within the organization. If you read all of the Glassdoor reviews, it's probably the #1 criticism of the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Rudderless ship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous IT in Dover, NH
    Former Employee - Anonymous IT in Dover, NH

    I worked at Measured Progress full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Wonderful people, good work/life balance.

    Cons

    Compensation rates from the 1990's with very little upward mobility. Much of the workforce are temps who are constantly told they'll be "flipped" to full time. Full time employees wear too many hats and are overworked. Poor morale and many employees are scared for their jobs. No bonuses for first time in over a decade. Financial projections trending towards disaster.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Cut middle management and reconcile whether or not "IT" and the "Business" are two separate entities or one company with a shared vision. Review what happened to the record industry when they failed to see the writing on the wall regarding online distribution of product. Too many competitors in the marketplace with better, faster, scalable solutions. Focus on doing one thing well instead of grasping at straws with a constant rotation of new partnerships and ill conceived applications that are poorly timed and arrive to the marketplace too late.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great Seasonal Opportunities

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Reader in Longmont, CO
    Former Contractor - Reader in Longmont, CO

    I worked at Measured Progress as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    Folks looking to bring in some extra cash on a temporary basis this is a great job. Two shift opportunities make this a viable option for people with full time day jobs or people looking for full time temp work.
    Pay if fair for the job and the fluctuating staff keeps the environment interesting.

    Cons

    This position requires some college level experience in reading, writing and math. It is a "desk job" and requires a lot of sitting and computer work. It is only available seasonally (fall and spring) and positions fill up quickly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stay competitive in the newer "common core" market and get more bids.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    What's more important... "Progress" or being "Measured"?

    Former Contractor - Project Manager
    Former Contractor - Project Manager

    I worked at Measured Progress as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    The people of Measured Progress are most supportive of new members – among the best I have seen. MP will be successful as their people continue to learn, share, and advance.

    Cons

    Like many other companies, Measured Progress is stepping away from traditional Project Management toward adopting Agile. But being mid-stride involves unsure footing in both.

    MP's step from Project Management has lightened this role to clerical duties such as initiating meetings, generating reports, estimating completion, and managing change orders. PMs are not expected to directly interact with teams to provide understanding, guidance, nor action.

    MP's step toward Agile involves tentative leanings on the ceremonies of sprints, stories, planning, stand-ups, and retrospectives. The teams work well among themselves, but team leads are neither considered nor operate as Scrum Masters. They instead function as traditional technical managers and conduits to upper management. Lack of team empowerment is evidenced in many ways such as narrow team participation in defining broad issues such as architecture or shaping progressive technical strategies.

    Measured Progress is in transition. They are a good place to work for those who are patient, as there is progress, albeit measured.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is a role for PMs if MP hopes to expand their market reach by commodifying features across offerings. This opportunity and role will be lost if the focus remains primarily shaped by technology. A feature is not a part, but rather a behavior.

    Also, considering MP is encountering the winds of both political and technological change, consider a more serious embrace of Agile's values, not just the ceremonies.

  7.  

    Comfortable

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Dover, NH
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Dover, NH

    I worked at Measured Progress full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The people are great to work with and are always friendly and willing to help you out. It was a great learning opportunity and a good place to get my feet wet in the program management arena.

    Cons

    It went from a laid-back atmosphere to a corporate environment. However, the compensation didn't match the new corporate culture.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Leadership is a mess At Measured Progress. The CEO is driving the company out of business.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Measured Progress full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    There are still some nice people who work there and they're struggling to get the overcommitments done.

    Cons

    No corporate mission. No leadership. Poor business practices leading to lost contracts.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    The job was not difficult, but became mentally exhausting over several months.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Test Scorer in Dover, NH
    Current Contractor - Test Scorer in Dover, NH

    I have been working at Measured Progress as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    Decent employee culture, quick projects, reasonable pay, (sort of) walkable/busable location.

    Cons

    You get to see how unfair the test scoring process is to some students. Long hours of scoring at a computer in a windowless room is mentally exhausting in a very subtle way. It seems fine at first, but after a few months it seems more and more unpleasant a task.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great group of people to work with but way too many layers of management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Technology in Dover, NH
    Current Employee - Technology in Dover, NH

    I have been working at Measured Progress full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good camaraderie. Everyone is very nice and pull together when needed. Nice facilities.

    Cons

    Way too heavy with the number of managers and assistant directors. They complain about being over staffed and spending too much money but when it comes time to reduce the headcount they never seem to thin out the management herd. Management seems lost given the current state of standardized testing and will bid on anything, usually under bidding, just to try and get a contract and then pressure people to deliver on the cheap. Majority of the company wants to return to the "good old days" before states started embracing technology to deliver tests. If only they could return to the days of paper only tests and get rid of the IT guys everything would be cured.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a clue, get a strategy. Stop looking so desperate that you bid on anything, usually knowing full well you have no clue whether you can actually deliver what you are signing up for. Look at the folks you have in management positions that are just treading water and adding little to no value. It is ridiculous to have a manager for 1-2 direct reports. Add more staff that actually do work. Find a way to embrace technology and stop living in the past.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Once a great company, but poor management has ruined it.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Dover, NH
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Dover, NH

    I worked at Measured Progress full-time

    Pros

    These pros mostly pertain to my days in the IT group. Great teamwork on projects. Company holds a lot of events (holiday party, coastal cleanup, blood drive) to build teamwork and give back to the community. A lot of personal time off. That's about it.

    Cons

    -Software upper management (CTO, director) are clueless. They don't know what their employees are doing and have to be explained things like they have no software knowledge. They are basically yes men who are not looking out for the best interest of the group. If you speak up and you don't agree with a decision you are branded "dificult" and demoted.
    -Unless you are part of one of the programming cliques don't get too comfortable because you will be the first to go. The software managers only care about their teams not the people they are "stuck" with. There is no assistance given to help employees improve their skills. Basically learn on your own and do it fast.
    -Poor decision making has crippled the group. Constantly rebuilding products from scratch instead of improving the existing ones. Management does not listen to warnings from developers. They just have the "get it done" mentality. Too many projects started and scrapped.
    -Company is so desperate for new work that they underbid to get it even though there's a good chance deadlines will not be met. IT employees are expected to work nights and weekends on these projects to get the work done.
    -A lot of infighting between the different groups since day one. It's not about getting together and fixing the problem it's about who gets the blame when it fails. Constant changes in the middle of projects.
    -TOO MUCH MANAGEMENT. In the past, they have had rounds of layoffs (mostly staff) and then within a week or two are bringing in more management. Recent layoffs have thinned the problem managers a little but there are still too many old school managers who do not want to change. A lot of managers are in positions they were never qualified for.
    -The company's reputation has taken a huge hit in the last few years. Some recruiters refuse to work with them because they drag out the hiring process. Word of mouth has gotten out among former employees that the company is poorly managed and they have no say in any decision making.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Overhaul the management of the company from the CEO down. Send out an anonymous survey for employees to fill out on the management team.
    -Have all developers work in the team environment. Get them involved in not only the legacy projects but the new projects as well.
    -Get rid of the people who are not qualified at their position. Don't just move them to another position or create a position for them (Director of ...). GET RID OF THEM.
    -Have the IT management team get to know their employees. Sit down with them and discuss what they are doing and what they think could be improved instead of passing them in the hall and just saying hi. You want a team environment then include everyone in it. It should be the managers responsibility to start this dialog not the staff member.
    -Stop the finger pointing between groups on mistakes made. There is now a person in charge of conflict resolution but whether everyone is on board and procedures will be put in place to prevent further failures remains to be seen. Agreed upon schedules need to be met. Don't just kick the can down to the next group who may not have the schedule flexibility.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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