- If you are new to the Arthritis Foundation (AF) Life Improvement Series programs, it is helpful to gain a basic understanding of what they are and what tasks are involved in disseminating them. Even though AF and state health department staff are not encouraged to teach the classes, attendance at a program leader or instructor training workshop can be useful. Some other strategies for learning about the programs include:
- Attending a class series or observing a few class sessions
- Reviewing the program instructor’s manual and the guidelines and procedures manual, which contains detailed information on implementation steps
- Getting oriented to key features of the programs by an experienced staff person or program trainer or leader/instructor
- Asking existing program trainers, leaders and instructors to share their tips on successfully delivering the programs.
- To ensure that your plan of work is consistent with your organization’s priorities, review existing planning documents, including the state arthritis plan, and organizational mission and vision statements and strategic plans.
- When determining the scope of your objectives and work plan, consider the following:
- What is your baseline -- where are you now? What is your existing program capacity (number of partners, program sites, course offerings, trainers, instructors, leaders) and how many program participants have you been reaching annually?
- Do you have data demonstrating the need to reach a new community, an underserved population or a new service area and/or to start a new program?
- What is feasible given your starting point and resources? If just beginning, it is OK to start small. For instance, you might want to focus on a more limited number but higher-quality system partnerships and fewer programs so that you can build a solid foundation.
Features of a good plan
- A good plan will be clear and complete, including:
- What—the strategies or action steps or tasks needed to accomplish your objectives
- Who—the individuals accountable for carrying out the tasks
- When—the timeline when the tasks will be accomplished
- How Much—the financial or other resources needed to carry out the tasks
Who’s Who in AF Programs tip sheet for an overview of the main types of people involved in program delivery.
Program Planning Worksheet for a sample listing of tasks involved in program delivery.
Supplementary Resources for planning models and resources
Sample Plan of Work
When developing your timeline, bear in mind these tips:
- Work backwards from when you want to deliver your training workshops and classes.
- Be practical. Build delays into the schedule.
- Allow for some flexibility, especially when working with outside agencies.
- Anticipate busy times, allowing extra time to accommodate holidays, vacation periods and other organizational major events and activities.
- When developing a plan of work, involve representatives of your target population as well as those groups or organizations who will need to be involved in program implementation.
- Identify who is going to manage the plan and ensure that everything gets done. There should be a single point of contact within each involved organization.
- Don’t try to do everything yourself. Spread the responsibilities out among your partnering agencies.
- Ensure that all involved in the plan of work are oriented to their roles and have the necessary training, orientation and other resources to carry out their responsibilities.
Program Planning Worksheet to learn about other sections of the Guide that contain useful resources for others involved in program implementation tasks
- Realize that the extent of your program activities is dependent upon having enough funding and other resources.
- Consider the following questions to help you in determining your resource needs:
- What was your budget last year?
- How much funding can you expect from your organizational budget, outside grants, program revenue or other revenue sources?
- What personnel, locations, materials and equipment or other indirect support can you expect from your partnering agencies?
- How many active trainers, leaders and instructors do you have? Do you need to train more?
Sample Program Budget
Program Budget Worksheet is in an Excel format to allow you to calculate income and expenses
Chapter 2-11: Resources for Supporting Programs for tips on identifying and securing financial and other program resources
- Distribute the plan, including designated responsibilities and timeline to everyone involved.
- Establish a mechanism for periodically reviewing milestones and communicating progress.
- Use your plan to help keep everyone accountable. Send out periodic reminders about deadlines and to keep the tasks on everyone’s to-do lists.
- Annually review the plan and your progress and celebrate your successes!