• Any action always produces unintended
• These consequences are a mixture of the
advantageous and the troublesome.
• While you cannot avoid unintended
consequences you can, with good
planning, identify possible trouble spots
and mitigate their impact. You might even
be able to leverage it into an advantage.
Examples of Unintended Consequences in
the Human Services Field
• Finding jobs for clients with no provision
for adequate day care for their children.
• Releasing mentally disabled patients
without proper community supports.
• Requiring parolees to work without
adequate job hunting skills.
• Referring clients to services that are not
physically accessible to them.
• One way to test the feasibility of a program
or service is a pilot project.
• This can usually be done with ad hoc,
temporary staff teams that can try out new
ideas and work through unforeseen
• These projects can “fail” without serous
consequences to the rest of the
Pilot Projects and Resistance
• Resistance to change can come from
clients, staff, or affiliated stake holders
(such as other agencies). This is even the
case when adjustment is necessary
because of internal or external changes.
• Pilot projects allow for experimentation
and are safer for all stake holders.
The Successful Pilot Project
A pilot project can have the advantages of:
• Handpicked staff that are highly motivated
• “Cherry picking” clients
• Adequate funding and other resources
The successful pilot project must also be
able to adapt to unforeseen circumstances
utilizing them to its advantage.
The Unsuccessful Pilot Project
• Under staffed
• Under funded
• No administrative support
• Difficult or problematic cases
Questions for new programs or
• What does the literature say?
• What are the legal or ethical issues?
• What political leader, board member, or staff
could sabotage the idea?
• What staff or resource constraints could keep the
program from getting off the ground?
• Which organizations, or other institutional entities,
must cooperate if the program is to succeed?
• Has this been tried before? If so, find out why it
was discontinued. Have conditions changed or
do you have a variation on the original theme that
The macro client system
- Identify the macro client - those people
who will ultimately benefit from the change
Change Agent System
– is the individual who initiates the macro
change process. Frequently the change
agent system refers to an agency involved
in the implementation of some macro
It can also refer to you, or a designated
team/group which has been tasked to
design a new program or initiate a pilot
– is the system that workers must change or
influence in order to accomplish their
goals. Frequently our own agency or
some subsystem within the agency
becomes the target system.
Action System – Your Team
– those people who agree and are committed to
work together to attain the proposed macro
change. As a change agent you need to recruit
supporters for your action system very carefully.
It is best to muster support from staff who are
well respected and competent.
The administration is more likely to have positive
feelings about individual action system members
and may react more positively to members’
proposals and plans. Believable action system
members lend credibility to the suggested
Principle of Least-Sized Groups
• Who should be on this team? The
principle of least-sized groups says we
should strive for a group as small as
possible, but that has all the expertise and
diverse points of view necessary to
complete the task well.
• As group size increases, the complexity of
interpersonal relationships increases
• Plan for success as well as failure.
• New initiatives can have catastrophic success as
well as catastrophic failure.
• Mediocre success is easier to maintain than
explosive success which will inevitably create
unforeseen stresses and strains on the system
(which is often inadequate to handle the strain of
such an unexpected accomplishment) in
Implementing A Plan
What to consider:
• Major activities
• Specific tasks
• Can be completed within a specific time
and include the following elements:
• Essential for achieving an objective
• Should result in one identifiable product,
such as a report, meeting, or completion of
a major assignment.
• Can occur either in sequence (one after
the other), or simultaneously with other
What are tasks?
• Tasks are specific jobs to accomplish a
Major Activity: Get Good Grades
– Buy books
– Go to class
– Do assignments and projects on time
• Delegating is an art and a science.
• No significant project is ever completed
• Delegation takes time and consideration at
the front end with the anticipation that it
will save many steps at the back end.
Carrying Out Task Assignments
There are two approaches to be considered in
1. Reverse-order: begins with the final result
and works backward to the beginning
(which is where you will start anyway).
2. Forward-sequence is the opposite.
An interesting exercise is to designate two
teams with each team using a different
approach and then comparing, and
reconciling, the results.
Time Line Chart
Why a Time Line Chart?
• The implementation process requires that controls and
reporting procedures be developed to determine the rate
of progress compared to the original implementation
• The process pinpoints responsibility and identifies
• By establishing accountability for who does what by
when, you have a warning system that will tell you when
you are in trouble.
• You also have a means for seeing, visually, what needs
to be readjusted.
• The technical name, that we will use from this point
forward, is Gantt Chart.
What does a Gantt Chart do?
• Visual overview of what needs to be done,
who needs to do it, and within what
specific time frame should it be
• A time line illustrates how various tasks
should be subsumed under major activities
in a comprehensible format.
Where do resources need to go?
• By displaying the timeline on a chart, you can
determine at a glance where resources and staff
time need to be concentrated.
• This visual review allows management and staff
to adjust and for decisions to be made. Even
mundane decisions like when to grant vacations
can be logically determined using the Gantt
Chart as a guide.
• Open Source and available as a free
Gantt Chart Builder
• Freeware for PowerPoint (A PowerPoint
• Download GANTT.ZIP (contains the
gantt.ppa PowerPoint add-in program and
the gantt.ppt documentation).
• As a project manager, you need to plan
and explain when tasks need to take
place, and to visually present your plan,
you will probably provide a Gantt chart:
Gantt Chart Builder Example
• There are many ways to create a Gantt
chart. For example, Microsoft Project, a
task-planning program, makes it easy to
track and chart project timelines with a
built-in Gantt chart view. Another option is
to use Excel. Excel does not contain a
built-in Gantt chart format; however, you
can create a Gantt chart in Excel by
customizing the stacked bar chart type.