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What It Is?

Implementation is the point at which all your planning and preparation come together. Among theactivities critical to your program's success are:

  • planning the program's launch
  • holding a news event to publicize your messages
  • taking advantage of unexpected opportunities
  • defusing potential threats to your efforts

How It Is Done?

Prepare for launch

  • Preparing for your launch includes:
    • producing your program materials
    • issuing requests for proposals (RFPs)
    • awarding funds to have program work done by outside entities
    • hiring and training your staff
    • planning launch promotion

Producing your program materials

  • Get organizational clearance for your program materials and decide what level of quality you can afford. Produce them in the amounts needed to support your program activities.
  • The process for producing audiovisual and print materials will vary depending on whether you're using existing materials or developing new ones. When possible, consider using or adapting existing materials.

Issuing requests for proposals (RFPs)

  • If your program or evaluation activities will be carried out and/or managed by outside organizations, issue requests for proposals (RFPs) to ensure fair competition for the work. (See SOC_RFPProcess.pdf[145 KB, 7 pages] for a sample RFP.)
  • Conduct some form of price or cost analysis for every procurement action.
    • Price analysis is determining if a price is reasonable. A web search on "vendor price analysis" will bring up sample forms to use for this purpose.
    • Cost analysis is the review and evaluation of each cost item on the budget to determine if costs:
      • are clearly allocated (i.e., you know what each cost covers)
      • are reasonable
      • are allowable under your guidelines
    • Allow 3-4 weeks for bidders to respond to your RFP. Allow enough time for your team to evaluate the proposals.

Hiring and training your staff

  • Hire new staff or consultants as your program plan requires. Having your staff on board and ready to launch the program is key to success.
  • To solidify staff roles:
    • Update staff job descriptions to reflect any new responsibilities.
    • Review supervisory duties
    • Develop review criteria to assess staff performance in their new duties.
    • Get feedback from staff before the launch to avoid any problems or challenges they may see.

Plan program launch

  • Decide whether to have a public launch with media attention or a "soft launch" (a low-key startup announcement for staff and partners).
  • Identify the audiences that will hear about the launch. These audiences could be staff, partners, community leaders, prospective clients or the media. Develop talking points with the messages you want to convey to them.
Execute and manage intervention components:
  • Directing staff toward the attainment of program objectives, using an effective leadership style and motivational strategies.
  • Coordinating the efforts of all personnel, including the ongoing clarification of roles (people have to know what to do, whom they report to and who reports to them) and the resolution of conflicts and misunderstandings.
  • Making sure that policies and procedures are followed and making corrections when they're not.
  • Planning and directing modifications in program activities when evaluation feedback indicates a need for changes (see Step 6.4).
  • Ensuring smooth communication via staff meetings, e-mail updates, newsletters or other means, so that all staff, partners, contractors and vendors are aware of progress toward objectives, and solutions to any challenges.
  • Reviewing your vendors' and contractors' work to ensure that their progress and payments proceed as planned.
  • Tracking and making necessary adjustments to other financial inputs and outputs.
Execute and manage the monitoring and evaluation plans
  • Intervention and monitoring activities should be implemented simultaneously.
  • As soon as the program is launched:
    • begin to document your intervention activities
    • spot-check them for fidelity to your plan
    • have a system for recording target audience feedback on your intervention activities, communication materials, services and products
    • gather staff feedback on the progress of your intervention activities in 1-on-1 sessions or formal meetings.
  • To disseminate your findings, use the channels and venues that best suit the needs and interests of your stakeholders. A single, uniform report summarizing the results of your program rarely meets all needs, so you should think about various formats for your findings. Some stakeholders will want detailed reports, while others prefer brief summaries of the results and conclusions.
  • Determining what lessons were learned involves reviewing program steps from planning and implementation through feedback and evaluation. When you are looking for lessons, be sure to:
    • examine both positive and negative outcomes to learn what worked and what didn't
    • look at both hard and soft data
    • strive for balance, clarity and objectivity when developing your report
  • Develop a schedule for releasing your information and revise your dissemination plan as new circumstances dictate.

Modify intervention activities according to feedback.

  • Use audience feedback, program monitoring and evaluation data to revise your overall program model if your assumptions proved to be incorrect. Or use the data to tweak activities to better serve your target audience.
  • For each major program adjustment, make the necessary changes in the supporting documentation, such as:
    • communication plans
    • staffing requirements and reviews
    • monitoring and feedback protocols and instruments
    • evaluation designs

Tools and Templates

Tools and Templates

  • Page last reviewed: August 9, 2010
  • Page last updated: August 9, 2010
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