Explanation of Fields for the Implementation Teams Matrix by guym13

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									Explanation of Fields for the Implementation Teams Matrix

The action item matrix it is designed to help teams think about, organize, and execute strategic
plan action items. It also serves as a collection point for information about the action items and
the work that’s being done to reach the goals set forth by the strategic plan. The matrix will also
be used by the implementation council and other key administrators and constituents to chart the
progress of the strategic plan.

The matrix is database driven and unless otherwise stated, all of the fields in the matrix are
“memo” fields, which means you can enter an almost unlimited amount of text. We encourage
you to be text thrifty when entering information in the field, but don’t want you to feel you have to
limit the amount of text when a longer explanation or description is required. What follows is the
definition and description for each of the fields in the matrix:


Importance
This is an integer field and should be a whole number from 1 through 10, with 10 representing the
highest level of importance. This is intended to give teams the opportunity to prioritize the items
within their area. Since the data in the matrix can be filtered and sorted, having a level of
importance for the various action items will allow team members (and others who use the matrix)
to quickly identify which items are perceived as being more important or critical to the success of
the goal.

Expected Outcome
Knowing what we expect to achieve by implementing the action items and reaching the goal is
critical to everything else related to the item. By thinking of the expected outcome, you can clearly
define what it will take to get from our current situation or status to where we want to be when the
item is implemented. Completing this field should help to complete the others, especially the
metrics and resources fields

Primary Area of Responsibility
One of the first things teams should do with the action items is identify the general area (e.g.
student affairs, business affairs) that is ultimately responsible for making the item happen. This
should not be done in a vacuum, but in consultation with the area responsible. As a memo this
can be used to not only define the area responsible, but if necessary or desired, give reasons
why that area is responsible.

Person or Group Responsible
This takes the above field to a more clearly defined level, assigning responsibility to a group or
person within the area. For example, if student affairs is defined as the area responsible, financial
aid and scholarship services might be the department within student affairs responsible for the
implementation of the action item. To take the example one step further, listing the “director of
financial aid and scholarship services” more clearly defines where the responsibility lies. In
general, it’s likely that persons or groups responsible would include units, administrators, faculty,
staff, students, alumni, community members, etc.

Metrics
This field can also be thought of as measurement, benchmark, operational definition, and so
forth. What it represents is the standard by which success of the outcome will be measured. The
metric can be either quantitative or qualitative, or a combination. It gives us the opportunity to
establish a method to determine whether or not the action item has been implemented. The
action items in the strategic plan cover a wide-range of topics, from recruiting a more diverse
student body to rewarding successful collaboration. It’s up to the implementation teams to
determine metrics to be able to say that we have in fact implemented the action item and
achieved the goals set forth in the strategic plan.




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Data Availability
This is were teams should list data and information that’s available that will help them understand
and implement the action item. Such resources would include data tables, studies, articles
pertaining to justification, units that provide data, and so on. Where possible, the source of the
data should be listed here as well. Some of the records in this field have already been filled in
where data or information are known to exist.


Resources
It’s imperative that teams consider what it would take for successful implementation of the action
item. The resources needed to make that happen are critical and need to be considered, and
wherever possible, should be clearly defined. Resources here cover a number of areas including
personnel, funding, and equipment. Teams should question whether resources currently exist to
implement the action item, whether existing resources need to be reallocated, or whether new
resources are needed. Justification for the latter two should be given if this is what’s
recommended.

Steps to Take
This is where the teams can chart the course for making the action items work. Use this field to
define the actions your team will take, as well as specific tasks assigned to individuals. Since this
is a memo field you can elaborate here on the work to be done to implement the action item.

Status
This field provides a general check on the status of the items. You are limited to picking one of
three levels: Not started, In progress, or Completed. With the sorting feature, anyone viewing the
matrix will be able to sort the items on those three levels.

Timeline
This is a memo field, not a date field. Use it to describe the timeline by which tasks within the
action item as a whole will be implemented. As a memo field you can make extensive notes and
are not limited to merely listing dates.

Next Checkpoint
This is a date field and is intended to allow you to list a specific date to check the progress of the
item. You may choose to use this as a true checkpoint and enter a date by which some aspect of
the item is due, or use it as the final implementation date for the item overall. By filtering for your
team’s area and sorting on this column you can see which checkpoints or deadlines are
approaching.




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