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Project Scope / Planning 101: A few things to consider when d eveloping a new initiative. Mario R. Gravelle Learning & Innovation Analyst. Project Scope/Planning 101 . Identifying a need : Can you show that a problem exists and prove that a new intervention is needed?

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slide1
Project Scope/Planning 101:

A few things to consider when

developing a new initiative.

Mario R. Gravelle

Learning & Innovation Analyst

project scope planning 101
Project Scope/Planning 101

Identifying a need:Can you show that a problem exists and

prove that a new intervention is needed?

How can you ensure that your intervention will be effective?

What makes your intervention efficient?

What are intervention deal-breakers and deal-makers?

identifying a need
Identifying a Need

Two steps that show your intervention is required…

Step one: Using the right approach to demonstrate that a problem needs to be addressed.

“Verbal and physical violence in high schools is an ever increasing problem. According to the provincial government, each high school experiences at least three acts of violence (student on student and/or student on staff) per day. This number has doubled in the past ten years. (Provincial Government, Report on High School Violence. 2011)”

“Acts of violence in high schools affect student learnings outcomes in two ways: First, systemic violence in high schools is very disruptive to the student body. Second, disciplinary measures force the perpetrators to miss important classroom time. Violent incidences also impacts staff career outcomes as it leads to poor workplace conditions. It is important to note that violence in high schools has an impact outside of the school setting as expenses incurred to prevent/come to terms with violent incidences (policing; disciplining offenders; and HR costs) are shouldered by the taxpayer. The funds to pay for these unnecessary expenditures could certainly be used in other places.”

Step two: Making a case for yourself by confirming that nothing is in place to address the issue or what is in place is not effectively addressing the problem.

effectiveness
Effectiveness

Using a Theory of Change to test/prove that your intervention will work.

A Theory of Change expresses the underlying theories/beliefs that guide a service delivery strategy and are assumed to be critical for producing change and improvement.

A Theory of Change can be captured in a series of IF-THEN statements: If something is done with or for project participants, then something should change.

Case Study:Improving student learning and staff career outcomes by decreasing violence in high schools.

theory of change improving learning and career outcomes
Theory of Change:Improving Learning and Career Outcomes
  • IFresources are available, THENa program can provide a certain set of activities or services to participants.
  • In this case, IF we have the right resources, THENwe can provide activities to limit violence which is a factor that influences learning and career outcomes.

IFa target group’s support network takes part in activities or receive services, THEN the target group is more likely to experience specific changes in their knowledge, attitudes or skills.

In this case, IF facilitators provide conflict intervention strategy training to caregivers and staff, THENstudents will be supported in choosing to resolve conflicts peacefully.

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2

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IFparticipants take part in activities or receive services, THENthey experience specific changes in their knowledge, attitudes or skills.

In this case, IF facilitators provide nonviolent conflict management strategy training to students, THEN these students will develop nonviolent conflict management skills.

  • IFindividuals change their knowledge, attitudes or skills, THENthey will change their behavior and usual practice.
  • In this case, IF students/caregivers staff gain knowledge about how to avoid
  • and/or defuse violent confrontations, THEN fewer incidences of violence
  • will occur in schools.
effectiveness1
Effectiveness

A Logic Model Diagram illustrates the connection between the theories that underscore your initiative and what you intend to provide that will lead to the outcomes you want to occur.

Terminology:

-Inputs/Resources (financial, human, knowledge and infrastructure)

-Outputs (activities and services)

-Outcomes/Impacts (changes in knowledge, attitudes or skills leading to changes in behavior and usual practice)

A Logic Model Diagram acts as a drawing that shows how one component of an initiative leads to the next.

Case Study: Improving student learning and staff career outcomes by decreasing violence in high schools.

logic model improving learning and career outcomes
Logic Model:Improving Learning and Career Outcomes

Inputs

Outputs

Outcomes

Short-TermLong-Term

  • Financial Resources: (From grantmakers, government, and/or grantee in-kind contributions)
  • $81,000 Grant from The Counselling Foundation of Canada
  • $48,000 Grant from ACME Inc.
  • Human Resources: (Grantee staff, consultants and/or trained facilitators)
  • Program Manager
  • Program Assistant
  • Staff members from the high school
  • Knowledge Resources: (Theories or concepts)
  • Nonviolent Conflict Management and Conflict Intervention strategies
  • Infrastructure Resources: (Physical space, tools and materials)
  • Meeting spaceat the high school
  • Technology at the high school (overhead projectors and screens)
  • Conflict Management and Conflict Intervention strategy materials
  • (Outputs to be provided to clients)
  • Nonviolent Conflict Management Sessions offered to students in a high school.
  • Conflict Intervention Sessions offered to caregivers and staff members from the high school.
  • (Outcomes that the outputs will have on your client community to address the issue you identified)
  • Students use nonviolent conflict management approach instead of violence = Decrease in student punishment; increase in student academic performance; and better working conditions for school staff.
  • Caregivers and staff use conflict intervention approaches to prevent and break up violent incidences = Decrease in student punishment; increase in student academic performance; and better working conditions for school staff.

Better student learning outcomes (higher graduation rates and access to post-secondary education)

Improved staff career outcomes (decrease in staff burnout and turnover)

Situation:

(Describes the issue that you wish to address with this intervention)

Verbal and physical violence in high schools affects student learning and staff career outcomes.

efficiency
Efficiency

Are your proposed activities required and realizable?

Are your timelines realistic?

Is your budget reasonable?

deal breakers and deal makers
Deal-breakers anddeal-makers

How do you intend to stay in business?

Spreading the wealth through replication

The added value of ensuring a project’s intellectual legacy

resources
Resources

Theory of Change and Logic Model

Andrea Anderson, The Community Builder’s Approach to Theory of Change:

A practical guide to theory anddevelopment.

Julia Coffman, Learning From Logic Models: An Example

of a Family/School Partnership Program.

University of Wisconsin, Enhancing Program Performance with Logic Models.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Logic Model Development Guide.

Professional Development and Other Links

American Evaluation Association

Canadian Evaluation Society

Innovation Network

The Community Tool Box