Implementing Action Plans Problem Solving and Making Decisions Class 4

Implementing Action Plans
Problem Solving and Making
Class 4
July 29, 2010
Implementing Action Plans
1. Setting goals and objectives: example:
Goal: To improve foster care services
Impact objective: To decrease the number of children waiting for foster homes
from an average of 150 to 100 each year
Service objective: To conduct a recruitment campaign that will increase the pool
of foster parents from 10 to 60
Product objective: To produce a training manual for foster parents
Operational objective: To hire two additional recruitment staff
**not all objectives lend themselves to quantifiable measurement
**objectives should not conflict with each other
2. Anticipating Unintended Consequences
Preparation is essential before taking action
A positive decision, although beneficial may produce negative side effects
i.e., Iatrogenic effects
3. Managing Change
Tipping point leadership
Initiating pilot programs: Projects that focus on short-term, urgently needed
results have the best chance of success
Labeling something as a “crisis” focuses needed attention and may help
find a solution
Handling resistance to change:
**resistance alerts the manager that they may be a problem
**staff may resist if they do not understand purpose of change
**wise not to implement change if staff strongly oppose
**timing of change is essential
**use energy of resistance
**consider: staff skills; culture of the organization; feasibility of the project;
level of funding; changes in marketplace or public policy;
risk of mission drift
Contingency Planning
imagine the worst; the unlikely
“what if” scenarios
fail safe analysis
Work out the details of a plan
Reverse Order Planning
Forward Sequence Planning
Timeline Charting
Questions for Discussion
1. Your are the manager for a program designed to serve street youth at risk
for HIV/AIDS. What would you determine to be the mission statement;
overarching goal; and objectives ( impact, service, product, operational)
for the program.
2. What kinds of problems might you anticipate as you begin implementation
and what contingency plans would you develop?
3. List major tasks that you would need to perform to get the program going and
create a 12-week timeline.
Problem Solving and Decision Making
1. Analyzing the Problem
**specify the problem: when, who, where
avoid oversimplification
**determine the boundaries: develop a problem statement
**clarify different perspectives
2. Consider Alternative Solutions
** consider trade-offs; identify advantages and
disadvantages of various solutions
3. Making Decisions
Following questions help minimize risk:
Does your decision increase something of value?
Can the decision be made at lowest level possible?
Can the decision be considered an experiment?
Are the negative consequences so great that decision should not
be made?
e. Can commitments be made on an incremental basis?
f. Are you fully prepared to carry out the decision?
g. Do you have a workable exit strategy?
**be boldly tentative!
**involve staff in decision making!
Decision Making Pitfalls:
flaws in the process to be avoided:
1. Clinging to the familiar
2. Defending past decisions
3. Seeking only confirming evidence
4. Framing the question too narrowly
5. Monitoring Results:
-managers and staff must review the results of their efforts
- can be measured through objectives and performance indicators
6. Making Corrections
-review of success or partial success provides a springboard for
future decision making and next steps
Questions for Discussion
1. Identify a problem in your organization
2. Develop a brief problem statement and describe how the problem might be defined
by clients, line staff, administrators, and public officials connected with your
3. Consider 3 alternative solutions to the problem
4. Choose a solution and state how you would monitor the results