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Efficiency & Effectiveness

The University of Massachusetts Efficiency & Effectiveness (E&E) initiative serves as an ongoing opportunity for the University to review its operational practices and strategic priorities to continue its growth as a world-class research university. The university has been working to ensure that a project inventory is maintained and that savings estimates are consistently calculated to accurately reflect the financial impacts of our collective efforts. A database has been developed to more efficiently track initiatives and allow for more timely updates to projects, as well as preserving information that can ultimately be used for informational and comparative purposes. This Input Form was designed to create ease in reporting area E&E initiatives to the campus coordinators of the UMass Lowell database.

Efficiency & Effectiveness Form


  • Please submit a separate form for each project or initiative.
  • Savings/avoidance/soft benefits should be reported as projected to be realized for the UMass Lowell campus. 
  • System-wide initiatives may be reported only in terms of the cost savings/avoidance/soft benefits for the Lowell campus.


Cost Savings represent the amount of actual savings due to the implementation of an initiative. This could be in the form of a newly negotiated contract compared to an old contract, staffing efficiencies, or some other amount that yields tangible savings when compared to prior spending. It is usually presented as savings for the first year of the implementation, even when the savings may last the length of a contract or even indefinitely.

Cost Avoidance represents the amount of costs averted due to the implementation of an initiative. These amounts are generally used to present the years beyond the first year of cost savings (but no more than 3 years beyond the first year). A contract or initiative may include the first year amount to the extent that costs were avoided that would have otherwise been spent. The out-years of a project typically reflect the costs avoided for the life of a contract or initiative. For those initiatives that are not contract driven, a period of 3 years is typically used to represent the costs avoided or saved, even if they are permanent.

For the purposes of populating this database, please feel free to project out five years of savings, if appropriate.

Soft Benefits represents an initiative's direct or indirect outcome which may not easily be quantified through a dollar figure. Soft benefits may include, but are not limited to, items such as: compliance efforts, implementation of best practices in the field, risk avoidance, improved service alignment and/or delivery, student success, and enhancing collaborations and partnerships.