District Organizational Re-Design and Human Capital Management Systems


Districts engaging in human capital management system (HCMS) design often discover that, through the process of aligning their current educator support systems to a strategic HCMS approach, the organizational design of their districts does not support – and can even sometimes hinder – the effectiveness and benefits of a coherent HCMS strategy.

Districts’ organizational design is typified by “silos” of departments lead by district administrators that enact a top-down approach of leadership. Departments within a district lack strong, collaborative organizational “links” (such as shared, co-ownership of district priorities, projects, and programs). For example, one department may “own” a function in a district, yet not coordinate with other departments who play key roles in the management and implementation of priorities and programs.

Districts may want to consider organizational approaches that organizes district work by function, is aligned to their strategic vision, and embodies a team-based (rather than top-down) collaborative approach.

A strategic approach to HCMS in a district emphasizes alignment of management practices that support educator quality, and the districts’ organizational design should reflect and support that strategic approach. For example, Teacher Incentive Fund Program grantees have used alignment in HCMS to redesign their districts to support strategic decision making and enhance organizational coherency; please see the full report here.


Dr. Sara Kraemer, Ph.D, is the founder and owner of Blueprint for Education, a women-owned firm that provides  technical assistance, program evaluation, and strategic consulting in K-12 and higher education. Blueprint for Education works with clients to provide meaningful reflection and clarity on their areas of focus, while delivering the highest technical quality and analysis. Sara works closely with practitioners, researchers, policymakers, educational organizations, and institutions to achieve programmatic and organizational success.  Blueprint for Education approach is highly collaborative, needs-driven, and customizable to fit clients’ unique project goals and organizational contexts. Sara can be reached at sara@blueprintforeducation.org