Implementation planning is the final step in the planning process. This is where specific dates for achieving goals and mini-goals are made. This often seems like a step that organizations at the end of a long planning session can defer. Though this can be tempting, implementation planning is one of the most crucial steps in the planning process. It is critical to ensure you turn good intentions into actual outcomes.
It is important that as many dates as possible are put in concrete terms with actual deadlines and not ambiguous date ranges. Some goals will obviously be dependent on outside forces and must be left ambiguous. Renting a new space, for example, is dependent on available spaces and thus “in the next six months” may be adequate. But “have a participant on the Board of Directors” is something the organization clearly has control over thus a less ambiguous date, “by October 9”, for example, is more appropriate.
Implementation planning rests on its ability to keep folks as accountable to the plan as possible. Good implementation plans have dates for accountability built into them. The most ideal have an outside party, often the outside facilitator, act as the person responsible for reminding the organization about its commitments.
In short, some of the most important hacks for implementation planning are to:
During our development Harm Reduction Hacks have collected together a large number of resources from around the web you can find these in our resource folder in Google Docs. We are also always looking for more so help us by suggesting any resources we may have missed.
We do not claim that this is an exhaustive set of strategies, shortcuts, or tips for running an SSP. What we do suggest is that Harm Reduction Hacks offers down-to-earth, practical information for being a better leader, starting and running an SSP, and providing syringe access services. We feel we can say this with confidence because the Hacks are based on interviews with, and the experiences of, literally generations of people who have been doing harm reduction work.
Please note that nothing in this guide should be construed as legal advice. Please consult an attorney local to your area to ensure your program is in compliance with all local, state and federal regulations that apply to your situation.