Setting Goals (starting with the end in mind)
“Begin with the end in mind. Start with the end outcome and work backwards to make your dream possible.”
—Wayne W. Dyer
You have by now created an overall Vision for your CLIP project and you are about to develop specific Action Plans to achieve that Vision. In both cases you need a way of measuring your progress.
Note how the Vision or the Action Plan Outcome(s) defines what you want to achieve, and measures are the specific time-based information collected to track whether an outcome has actually occurred.
Warning: There is a danger in focusing solely on measures (eg how many sessions were held regarding a community issue) rather than on outcomes (eg what positive change in behaviour could be measured as a result of the action or project). Too often it is easier to track measures (eg the number of something produced) and harder to measure outcomes which might be longer term in their impact.
Follow these six basic steps to develop effective outcomes and measures:
- Describe the outcomes you want to achieve. This could be an answer to the question: what would success look like? In what way will people be better off?
- Turn the identified outcomes into a quantitative measures (i.e. % or absolute number of people demonstrating a new behavior, % or absolute number of people not needing support, or % increased efficiency in delivering a service.). This could be the answer to the questions: How much do we aim to do? How well do we aim to do it?
- Check that the measures can be easily communicated, will have the greatest impact and can be based on accurate data that is able to be collected without too much effort. Think hard because poorly thought out measures can lead to “garbage in/garbage out.”
- Confirm that it is reasonable to expect your desired outcomes to be achieved if you achieve these outputs/measures.
- Implement these measures and track them over time.
- Demonstrate and increase your success because you have the data to confidently and appropriately communicate your impact and value.
- Use the information you have gathered to agree the Outcome(s) your project wants to achieve
- Agree on the important Measure(s) that will determine if you are on track - or not - to achieve this result. Remember the best measures are those that are most easily communicated, have the greatest impact and can be based on accurate data.
- Insert these into your CLIP One Page Plan.