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Deliverology in Practice

Deliverology in Practice
How Education Leaders Are Improving Student Outcomes

August 2015 | 384 pages | Corwin

Everything you need to implement school change that gets results!

If you’ve been wondering how to effectively lead and manage results-driven, system-wide implementations, look no further. Internationally recognized education expert Michael Barber explores exactly how to translate policy into practice for long-term, measurable results.

Building on his groundbreaking book, Deliverology 101, Barber provides proven methods and clear steps to achieve successful policy implementation and offer practical solutions for reviving stalled reform efforts. New cases studies and embedded links help you develop a delivery “skillset” for building capacity, effective coalitions, and a coherent, flexible plan for implementation. 

Leaders and staff at both national and local levels will learn to:

  • Establish a Delivery Unit to set clear, measureable goals and build a reform coalition 
  • Understand delivery through data analysis and strategic progress monitoring 
  • Plan for delivery with explicit, day-to-day implementation planning updated with proven methods from years of practice
  • Drive delivery with progress monitoring, momentum building, and course corrections
  • Create an irreversible delivery culture by identifying and addressing challenges as they occur

Don’t leave your education policy implementation to chance. Use this new field guide to get your implementation on the right track today!


About the Authors
Introduction: The American Implementation Problem
Part 1. Develop a Foundation for Delivery
Chapter 1A. Define Your Aspiration
Chapter 1B. Review the Current State of Delivery
Chapter 1C. Build the Delivery Unit
Chapter 1D. Establish a Guiding Coalition
Part 2. Understand the Delivery Challenge
Chapter 2A. Evaluate Past and Present Performance
Chapter 2B. Understand Root Causes of Performance
Part 3. Plan for Delivery
Chapter 3A. Determine Your Reform Strategy
Chapter 3B. Draw the Delivery Chain
Chapter 3C. Set Targets and Establish Trajectories
Part 4. Drive Delivery
Chapter 4A. Establish Routines to Drive and Monitor Performance
Chapter 4B. Solve Problems Early and Rigorously
Chapter 4C. Sustain and Continually Build Momentum
Part 5. Create an Irreversible Delivery Culture
Chapter 5A. Build System Capacity All the Time
Chapter 5B. Communicate the Delivery Message
Chapter 5C. Unleash the “Alchemy of Relationships"
Conclusion: Over to You

“Kentucky has seen significant increases in high school graduation rates and college/career readiness rates for graduates over the last six years. Our success in Kentucky is directly linked to our ability to implement strategies and keep all educators focused on success for ALL children. The Education Delivery Institute and Deliverology provided the support and tools to enable our success.”

Terry Holliday, Commissioner of Education
Commonwealth of Kentucky

"Too often, the gap between policy ambition and implementation is wide.  The protocols and practices advanced by deliverology have been instrumental in narrowing this gap in Massachusetts.  As a result, state education policies are translating into practices that are benefiting students."

Mitchell D. Chester, Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education

“In dealing with the challenges of getting more of our students to achieve their postsecondary goals, no program or approach is as comprehensive, focused or as well conceived as that offered by EDI. Deliverology works if you follow its processes and have people dedicated to its method of driving improvement.”

Robert L. King, President of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

“EDI’s process of turning vision into action - and most importantly into results - has been just the catalyst we needed to meet our goal of delivering global-ready students.  Their straightforward method and process brings reality to big dreams.  No change agent should be without it.”

Jason E. Glass, Superintendent
Eagle County Schools, CO

“Deliverology gives district leaders the tools they need to drive, and monitor, real change for students at the school and classroom level. This essential book for system leaders builds on the approach set out in Deliverology 101, and augment’s it with five years’ worth of real life stories and experiences from public school systems across the United States.”

Paul Kihn, Deputy Superintendent
School District of Philadelphia, PA

“The best thing about the clear, practical methodologies the authors describe is that they really do help colleges and universities deliver on their goals for student success and completion.  They provide a means for tracking progress toward long-term objectives—and getting back on track if there is some wandering along the way!”

Kevin P. Reilly, President Emeritus
University of Wisconsin System

“EDI worked with my department to help us learn and apply a powerful set of ‘Deliverology’ tools for culture change in our state’s unique context. We now have a focused set of goals and priority strategies which inform everything we do to improve education in Hawai’i, and routines that build shared team accountability for results that move the needle on our strategic goals.  This has contributed significantly to the major improvements in student outcomes that we’ve seen in recent years.”

Kathryn S. Matayoshi, Superintendent
Hawaii State Department of Education

“As a large urban school district that serves approximately 17,000 students, we have found the process of delivery to be empowering.  It is the catalyst for action as we work to implement our district strategic plan, ensuring that we have the capacity to lever specific elements of the plan in a multi-year timeline.  The consistent focus on student results and positive changes at the classroom level allows us to maintain true to our vision of instructional excellence, for every student every day.”

Kathleen A. Smith, Superintendent
Brockton Public Schools

“Never before have the stakes been higher for American higher education institutions.  EDI provides a concise approach that system and campus teams can use to set goals, measure progress, and achieve outcomes.  The tools they provide can help leaders make progress towards the goal, ground routine campus conversations around results, and ultimately achieve increased collaboration, streamlined processes, and improved student success.”

John Morgan, Chancellor
Tennessee Board of Regents

“’Poor implementation is like poison to a reform effort,’ Deliverology in Practice reminds us. But poor implementation is the norm in education. Deliverology in Practice goes beyond platitudes and ‘common sense’ to set out a clear, step-by-step framework for large-scale implementation. It’s a must-read for every policymaker seeking to spark improvement and every practitioner working to implement it.”

Joanne Weiss, Former Chief of Staff
U.S. Department of Education
Key features

Tony Blair had set up the PMDU to help his government achieve 20 high-priority public service goals, ranging from improved educational outcomes to drops in street crime. Michael and his colleagues took on this challenge by focusing relentlessly on four disarmingly simple questions:

a.What are you trying to do?

b.How are you planning to do it?

c.At any given moment, how will you know whether you’re on track to succeed?

d.If you’re not on track, what are you going to do about it?

The questions define the approach: delivery is nothing more and nothing less than a set of tools, techniques, and systems for asking and answering these questions consistently and rigorously.


Deliverology in Practice will essentially be a catalogue of action research, organized according to the elements of the delivery framework. In this sense, its treatment of how education leaders deliver results is meant to be comprehensive and detailed. A practitioner who reads the book as a whole should be able to see how the elements of the delivery framework fit together to form a coherent method for managing the implementation challenges they face. A practitioner who focuses on a particular chapter should receive practical, detailed, experience-based guidance on how to implement a particular element in the framework for themselves. By laying out the core principles and showing how multiple systems put each into practice, each chapter should provide at least some “hooks” on which a reader can hang their own experiences to adapt the work to their own local contexts.

The book will feature:

  • Numerous cases and examples
  • Discussion of steps to take and avoid
  • Very practical organizational strategies
  • Numerous charts and dialog boxes to illustrate the various principles and cases

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1C

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781483353975

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