How the Outcomes Star™ works
There are 9 key stages in ensuring that services can successfully and effectively use the Outcomes Star.
Below you can see the end to end process for using any version of the Outcomes Star in a service. The process shows that how you use the Star is different to many other outcomes measurement tools, in a number of ways:
- Done with, not done to – completed collaboratively between service user and keyworker
- Integral, not additional – designed to be part of keyworking and the work keyworkers do
- Objective data, not subjective – numbers that correspond to explicitly defined, consistent descriptions
1. Making the Star
Stars are created through a collaborative process between Triangle and service providers in a specific sector. They are piloted, iterated and refined for over a year before being fully published.
2. Implementing the Star
Organisations must have Star licences and training for the members of staff using the Star. To use the Star effectively, organisations should take the time to make sure the Star is right for them, and that the right version of the Star has been identified for a service. They should also plan how best to implement and embed it within services and how it can work with their objectives, approach, culture and processes.
3. Understanding the Star
All versions consist of between 5 and 10 outcome areas – distinct areas of a person’s life that are important to their overall quality of life and to the aims of services in that sector. Each area is supported with a scale, which can either be a 1 to 10 scale or 1 to 5 scale.
4. Understanding the Journey of Change
Each scale is more than just a set of numbers from 1 to 10 or 1 to 5 – they are all underpinned by the Journey of Change for that Star. The Journey of Change is a theory of change that sets out the stages people go through when making sustainable change in their lives, meaning the attitudes and behaviour expected at each of the points on each scale are clearly defined. Each Journey of Change is specific to the individual Star that it describes in order to more effectively engage with and capture service users change.
5. Using the Star with service users
An Outcomes Star is completed collaboratively by a keyworker and service user at or near the beginning of their time with the project or service. The Star provides a framework for conversation between the service user and practitioner, and supports both parties to reflect on the strengths and challenges that exist. Using the scale descriptions, they identify together where the service user is for each outcome area and plot that onto the Star Chart.
6. Action planning with the Star
Having completed a Star collaboratively, a service user and practitioner can then use the stages from the Journey of Change to inform a shared action plan – targeting goals, actions and interventions by understanding what works well when someone is at a particular stage of the journey. For example, at the ‘Stuck’ stage, a keyworker is likely to have to create the impetus for action and often do things on behalf of the service user. However at the ‘Learning what works’ stage, a service user is likely to be more motivated and take on more actions proactively themselves.
7. Capturing distance travelled
This process of completing a Star and then completing an action plan is then repeated at regular intervals as part of keywork and one to one support, including looking back at previous Stars. It means a service and service user can track progress and capture the changes that are taking place in their behaviours, attitudes and lives overall.
Visually drawing the completion lines helps to capture distance travelled.
8. Reporting with Star data
At an individual service user level, the data can be shown visually on the Star shape, providing an engaging visual picture of how their lives have changed. And it can also be aggregated and compared across a keyworkers caseload or other group of service users, across a whole service or a group of services, or even nationally.
9. Supporting the Star
Just like any other tool, using the Star requires ongoing investment and support from an organisation to ensure it’s used effectively and that the data is captures is accurate and valid. Incorporating the Star into supervision policies, regularly auditing case files and continually investing in training and support are some of the key areas that support quality use of the Star over time.