Measured Progress Reviews

Updated March 18, 2015
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2.8
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Martin Borg
26 Ratings

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  1. Test scoring is okay.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Test Scorer
    Current Employee - Test Scorer

    I have been working at Measured Progress

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Temp job that treats people like human beings, work that requires brain power, not just mindless labor.

    Cons

    It's getting stricter--no cellphones in the building, tighter attendance rules.Strict break times, must bring lunch because there isn't time to go buy anything in the 30 minute lunch break.

    Advice to Management

    A little more flexibility in long-term projects. Temps are people too, and have doctor's appointments and sick kids, etc. Refusing to hire an experienced scoring temp because they need to miss 2 hours of a 4 week project seems to be unnecessarily harsh.

  2. Helpful (10)

    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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

    -- 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.

  3. Helpful (6)

    Contracting business/revenue... 30 year old business model.

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

    I worked at Measured Progress

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great, highly skilled people at the line level. Interesting work with significant social importance. Employees form close bonds and help each other in and out of the office

    Cons

    Executive Leadership Group is disjointed and out of step with the Assessment industry. Refusal to consider adjacent markets and alternative business models have lead to substantial lay-offs. They chase every proposal as a 'check the box' exercise. There is no comprehensive solution approach. Departments are forced to come up with a predetermined cost based on what price will win the contract, not the cost to effectively deliver.

    Advice to Management

    Stop protecting incompetence at the executive and management level. Focus on leading the business and employees, not managing tasks. Stop listening to the anecdotal complaints of the few and judge competence based on performance and delivery. The main corporate objective should be to lead a sustainable organization and not harmony for all.

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  5. Helpful (4)

    What a mess!

    • 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 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    You work with some great people.

    Cons

    Absolutely no leadership. No business development to speak of. No strategy or vision. CEO is referred to as Eeyore because he mopes about the office building all day, although most days he doesn't even leave his office. Hardly inspires confidence. Executive team is made up of sycophants who would be unemployable if not for the CEO hanging on to his few supporters.

    Advice to Management

    Advice to the board: It's time to sack ALL of the executives (and some of the former ecevutives the CEO is too afraid to get rid of). Then make the company for-profit and sell it.

  6. Helpful (5)

    Unpleasant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Measured Progress

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The paid time off was fair.
    Many of the employees are friendly.
    The work site is in a nice setting.

    Cons

    Very 90s in policies toward technology in regard to workers and investments for the future of the company.
    Morale is low. Many people are over worked and facing job insecurity. The hard work often goes without recognition from the leadership, and the climate is very political. Certain groups and divisions seem to work against each other, rather than with each other.
    There are few opportunities for professional development or advancement. Access to classes was available for some canned online courses, but you had to jump through hoops to get them.
    Upper management seems to care very little for the people working in their groups.
    If you want to do something slightly outside of the norm, there are many people that you have to involve and many forms to fill out.

    Advice to Management

    Get to know your employees and what they care about
    Lead the company and your employees. Make it clear what the priorities are.
    Allow employees and managers to use common sense, rather than having them seek many layers of approval for insignificant changes.

  7. Helpful (5)

    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)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.

  8. 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)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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).

  9. 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)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

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

  10. 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 Management

    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.

  11. Helpful (3)

    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)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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.

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