Queensland Stay On Your Feet - Step 3B: Implement the plan and monitor progress
Step 3B: Implement the plan and monitor progress
Time to take action! Phase 3 is about making sure the strategies planned during Phase 2 are being implemented as intended. You have done a lot of hard work to formulate your plan and test it, so be confident in delivering your strategies.
Implementation of your plan may vary depending on what stage your community is at. In some communities, work may need to begin in raising awareness and knowledge within the community that falls are preventable before targeting the falls risk factors themselves. It is recommended that you begin with easier achievements, ‘early wins’ and something that people can easily see to be working, such as people attending an exercise class. Visible success early on in your project/program will increase community support and make it easier to move on to more difficult and complex issues.
It is important to continually evaluate and analyse as the project/program is being implemented. If the target group is not being reached, it is unrealistic to expect that the project /program will be effective or have a positive impact on the target group. During implementation, you may need to take active steps to improve the effectiveness of the project/program’s strategies by contacting those organisations and/or individuals not participating and/or following up with those who were participating but are not any longer.
Monitoring implementation is an essential element of project management. During planning in Phase 2, you selected the elements of the project/program that would be monitored as part of planning your process evaluation. During implementation, it is a good idea to review the monitoring process to determine if anything being collected is unnecessary and if any important elements are inadvertently not being recorded.
There are two broad aspects of the project/program that need to be monitored:
- internal operations including monitoring of progress against quality, time, budget parameters, scope and the potential opportunities and barriers 
- external operations as perceived by those involved with the project/program eg. stakeholder input and feedback.
To accurately record process information, you will need a monitoring, record keeping and documentation system for the project/program . It is best to monitor and track progress by documenting and reporting on the status of implementation, and managing issues early . This information will be used to evaluate the project/program in Phase 4. Common methods used to monitor programs include:
- weekly, monthly, six monthly and annual reviews 
- writing regular status reports 
- reviewing the project plan and timeline and revising where necessary
- keeping a register of issues, including any adverse events and how they were addressed
- updating action lists
- comparing budgeted costs with actual costs
- keeping records of telephone calls, attendance, resources and media coverage.
Tools and templates
To monitor internal operations, set up an advisory group consisting of experts and representatives from the target group that can meet regularly to discuss internal operations and objectively address issues that arise. This external input often provides clarity to issues that the project/program team members may have struggled with due to being too close to the work.
Hold community progress meetings
To monitor how the project/program is being accepted and regarded by the community, involve and include your stakeholders in regular community progress meetings to monitor progress against your community action plan.
|Falls prevention in action
The Stay on Your Feet Wide Bay/Burnett trial project held regular community progress meetings which used simple measures to help the community easily understand and participate in the monitoring and review process. Planned strategies were rated using a traffic light scale originally developed by Queensland Health’s Tropical Population Health Network. The different coloured lights have meanings that reflect the project/program’s progress.
Explore opportunities and be flexible
As the project/program progresses, you could become aware of potential opportunities that may assist in progressing the goals and objectives of your work. Being flexible will allow you to explore opportunities as they arise, and assess emerging opportunities against local resource availability and the scope of the project/program. Consider if the opportunity will:
- increase the effectiveness of the project/program
- increase the reach or profile of the project/program
- strengthen networks that can benefit the project/program and help sustain it beyond its initial phase
- broaden the impact of the project/program by influencing wider policy development
- increase the skills of people involved with the project/program .
|Ready for the next step?
Go to Step 3C: Communicate progress with stakeholders