Action Plan & Timeline
To create a specific action plan that will guide the implementation and evaluation of the practicum project
To assess the feasibility of the proposed project and make adjustments to ensure the project is realistic
To ensure that project activities address a root cause of the problem and align with desired project outcomes
Review the Problem Tree and Change Model you completed for earlier assignments. Make changes, if necessary, based on what you have learned or observed since you first completed the assignments.
Copy and paste the Project Title and Project Description from your Change Model to the top of your Action Plan.
Brainstorm the steps you will need to take to get started. At this point in the process, just write down the activities or tasks without worrying about when they will get done. Write each step on a separate piece of paper, index card, or sticky note. Depending on the type of project, initial steps may include:
Meeting with agency staff or others to get permission or coordinate project activities
Conducting research to more fully develop your project ideas and activities
Reaching out to potential partners to let them know about the project and invite participation or ask for assistance
Learning how to do something new, such as using a new software program or making a video
Think about what you will need to do to implement your project. Again, just jot these steps down without worrying about the details of when and how. Write each step on a separate piece of paper, index card, or sticky note. Depending on the type of project, implementation steps may include:
Developing and testing a curriculum or presentation
Creating written materials
Gathering needed supplies
Advertising or outreach
Giving a presentation, teaching a class, or leading an activity
Creating a draft version of a website, video, or guide
Getting feedback on drafts and revising based on feedback
Finally, think about what you will do to evaluate your project. Project evaluation is an opportunity to reflect on what worked, what you would do differently next time, and to what extent you achieved your project outcomes and moved towards the desired change. Again, just jot these steps down without worrying about the details of when and how. Write each step on a separate piece of paper, index card, or sticky note. Depending on the type of project, evaluation steps may include:
Developing a written evaluation tool, such as a survey
Getting verbal feedback from agency staff or participants
Summarizing and analyzing survey data or feedback
Incorporating feedback into the final project product
On each step, write:
how long you anticipate it will take to complete
who will be involved in carrying out the step (be sure to include the Partners/Allies from the Change Model)
what resources you will need to complete the step (be sure to include the Resources/Assets from the Change Model)
If you find this difficult to do, you may need to break the step down into smaller, more specific activities.
Take all of the steps and arrange them in the order in which you think you will carry them out. You can work on multiple steps at the same time.
You will have at most about four months (16 weeks) to carry out your project. To make sure your plan is realistic given these time limitations, sort the steps into months. For example, place all the steps you will do in January in one column, all the steps to be done in February in another column, etc. Remember to take into account that the semester runs only during part of the first and last months.
If you choose, you can further organize your steps into weeks to generate a more precise timeline.
Make adjustments to your action plan and timeline if you observe that it is either too ambitious or not ambitious enough. Don’t forget to plan for times you may not be available for travel, work, or school obligations. Try to give yourself a bit of wiggle room in case there are delays or tasks take longer than you anticipated.
Complete the Action Plan and Timeline based on the results of this planning exercise. You may choose to use either the monthly or weekly Timeline.
The last column in the Action Plan should be left blank. You will use this column to report on progress made implementing your project in GERO 131.
Write a 1-2 page reflective narrative. Discuss:
How your project changed as a result of completing this action plan and timeline exercise
What strategies you will use to stay on track as you carry out your project
What additional barriers or challenges you identified as you completed this exercise and how you will handle them
What additional partners or allies you identified as you completed this exercise and how you will involve them
What additional necessary resources you identified as you completed this exercise and how you will obtain them
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