Detailed plans are important to the success and careful implementation of a program. Without them, details can fall through the cracks, reducing the effectiveness of your work. Although planning takes time, it’s important. The time you spend on creating a clear plan saves time and resources later while also increasing your chances of reaching outcomes. You can also use a detailed plan to help you monitor what’s working or not working well so adjustments can be made to improve your program’s functions.
Finalize Your Program Selection
In Steps 3, 4, and 5, you identified a short list of evidence-based programs to consider implementing, then assessed them for fit with your priority population and local context, and lastly, considered your organization’s capacity to implement the various choices. You may have quickly discovered a top-choice program or you may have repeated the steps with several candidate programs before a clear choice emerged. If you haven’t already identified the program you want to implement, now it’s time to finalize your selection before moving ahead.
If you’re still not ready to finalize a choice, or have other programs yet to consider, then you need to revisit Steps 3, 4, and 5 and work through the tasks again. In both cases, you may need to do some additional exploration to find other potential programs.
Have a copy of the Green, Yellow, and Red Light Adaptation Guide from Step 4 to help you finalize appropriate adaptations.
Document the adaptations you plan to make. As discussed in Step 4 on fit, your goal here should be to only make those green light adaptations that are really necessary to improve the fit of the program to your youth participants and community context.
When you’re done with these tasks, you’re ready to go on to the next section, Develop Implementation Plan.
Remember – If you believe you need to make yellow light adaptations, you should talk first with someone with expertise in curriculum development, evidence-based program implementation, and health education theory such as a university professor. Do not make red light adaptations to a science-based program.
Develop Implementation Plan
To develop your program implementation plan, you will make a detailed list of all the activities for your chosen program. We’ve provided a Work Plan Tool which begins on page Error: Reference source not found. Putting on a program requires a lot of preparation such as securing space, having necessary policies and procedures in place, recruiting participants, developing a budget, hiring facilitators, etc. If you plan to use peer volunteers, you will need plans to recruit, train, and supervise these volunteers. You may also need to factor in transportation arrangements for participants, as well as whether you’re providing food for them. Creating a work plan now can help you cover all your bases and ensure that you’re ready to implement. The work plan makes sure you’re staying on track. The details of a work plan include:
Describing all types of activities needed to effectively prepare for implementation such as administrative, policies and procedures, facilitation, location and materials, recruitment and retention, and implementation
When activities will be done
Who is responsible for each activity
What resources are needed and where will they come from
Date activities are completed
Remember – Include your collaboration partners as people potentially responsible for activities. Describe the roles each will play in the implementation of your program. This could include such things as a local organization coordinating shared staff training or a partner involved with identifying and making referrals.
Integration Tip: A good work plan can do more than help you implement your program. You can also use it to train new staff and volunteers about your work and their roles in it. Using the work plan as a common framework puts everyone on the same page. You can use the work plan to apply for new funds or to tell VA facility administration about the program. You can also integrate your work plan into your facility’s larger strategic planning efforts.
Instructions for Using the Work Plan Tool
Make as many copies of this tool as you and your workgroup need to complete the task. You may want to do rough draft of the plan as you gather the needed information, then prepare a final draft to distribute to everyone involved when you are done.
The process for completing the work plan is as follows:
Gather together all of the materials you’ve developed in previous GTO steps you need to complete the work plan such as assessments, outcome statements, adaptation guide, and program descriptions. You may also find the Capacity Assessments from Step 5 useful.
Fill in the basic program information at the top of the form.
Starting on the left-hand side of the form, under the Activities column, work your way through filling in the details of what it will take to implement your program. List program activities sequentially where you can to help you plan them out.
Don’t worry if you can’t fill in all the details. Working through this tool may help you see where there are gaps that need to be filled. Also consider your work plan a living document; update as new tasks arise.
WORK PLAN TOOL
Program Name: _______________ Name of person completing form:__________________
Program Name and Summary
Briefly provide the title and summary for this program or strategy.
Identifying Program Components
What components will be implemented for this program or strategy? Which of the objectives (completed in GTO Step 2) are linked to each activity?
Which objectives are linked to each component?
If using a model program, what is the adaptation plan (or none needed: will be implementing as intended)
If building your own program, which best practices does your program incorporate?
Identifying Anticipated Outputs
What outputs will show that the activities were implemented as intended? Outputs are the direct products of program activities and usually are measured in terms of work accomplished (e.g., number of sessions attended, number of participants served, etc…).
Anticipated Program Output(s)
Days of treatment
Anticipated Program Output(s)
Days of treatment
Planning each program component
Now that you have chosen your program components, each one needs to be planned. Here you need to think about all the activities that need to be completed in order to make each component successful. Each component is made of several activities.
For program components that require recruitment of participants, how will that be carried out?
Who are the collaboration partners for your program or strategy and what are their intended roles?
Role of Partner
What steps are being or will be taken to integrate this program or strategy with other existing programs and organizations?
Programs face many challenges. It is helpful to forecast what these challenges or barriers might be and generate possible solutions for them. Below is a table for you to consider what the barriers to your program might be and space to generate solutions to those barriers. You may not know the solutions now, but you will be able to come back to this page and update it at any time in the future.
What must be done to prepare for this program or strategy? Have these tasks/activities been sufficiently addressed?