Know and plan for obstacles

All processes and projects have risks. Perhaps funding changes, there is a leadership transition at the school, or teachers’ time to engage in curriculum is cut short. Though many risks are unforeseen, many can be prevented (or their effects minimised) with careful, proactive planning. Without understanding what the risks may be – and having thought ahead about how to get around them – your plan may not be as viable as you hoped.

Think back to the three factors (task, time, and resources) of your process. Reevaluate what you have outlined.

Key questions to consider include:

  • Have you made any assumptions in the outline of the three factors? A common assumption we see is around time (e.g. teachers will work on their own time). Without time clearly allocated, this assumption often leads to frustration and other roadblocks.

  • What other initiatives may take away from or influence the three factors? We have to look at this change within the bigger picture of the school or district. Often, there are competing initiatives, so it is essential to readjust expectations in line with an overarching strategic plan

  • How can you plan for changes and their potential impact? Unforeseen obstacles arise. And, while we may not be able to predict what they are, we can add in extra time or funds to ensure they do not deride the project.

  • Did you assume any characteristics or key motivators? Be sure to revisit your analysis of everyone involved in the process. How might you gain relevant insight from the group itself, to double check the key incentives are accurate and meaningful to the group?

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