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Concourse 2

Delta Module Three ELT Management: implementation

implement

Every proposal is different.  The following is generic advice, therefore.

The term implementation comes from the noun meaning a tool so it is here that you discuss the nuts and bolts of what you intend to do in terms of change and innovation.

This section lies at the heart of your essay and is where your theory and ideas come into contact with the harsh realities of life.
It is here, too, that you demonstrate that you have considered the practical implications of introducing change and are not approaching things naïvely and theoretically.

The suggested word count for this section is 900 words, give or take 10%.

Think for a moment

Consider a successful innovation that you have experienced or managed.  What made it successful?  In other words, what are the characteristics of the successful management of change in practice?
When you have a short list, click here for a longer one.

  1. How will you approach the innovation?  How has your reading about implementing change influenced the decisions you make?
  2. Who will be affected, how and when?  Consider both internal stakeholders and external ones such as clients or agents.
  3. What is your timetable and how will it be implemented?
  4. How will you manage resources?
  5. What constraints have you considered?
  6. How will you measure success?

You need to link all the above to:

  1. The principles of change management that you have read and researched.  Do not simply provide a list extracted from the literature: you need to demonstrate that you have understood what you have read and are applying principle to practice logically.
  2. A carefully worked out and fully explicit action plan.
  3. Careful justification of the choices you have made regarding your operational / action plan.  Do not simply describe: justify and provide a rationale for what you are doing.
  4. Any constraints you have identified previously.
  5. An evaluation methodology so that you can measure success (or its lack).

plannin

Writing the operational plan

Projects and ideas are infinitely variable so the following is a generic list of what should be included in your plan.  In the proposal and justification section of your essay you dwelt at some length on the benefits of your innovation to the organisation as a whole and, it is to be hoped, have convinced the management and staff of the institution that it is an innovation worth implementing.
Writing a good action or operational plan is one part of the next step, implementing it is another.

Which plan is this?
The plan you are going to follow should be a shared document so that everyone concerned knows what is happening and where we are now.  As you go along, you will almost certainly need to alter and refine the plan to take into account responses from the people involved, unexpected hitches, unimagined constraints and so on, so the first page of your action plan should say what version it is, when it was written and what changes have been made from the last version.
The summary
However your plan is presented, you need to summarise at the beginning what exactly is proposed and whom it will affect.
The summary explains the purpose of the change or innovation, the expected outcomes and the benefits.
It should be clear to everyone by reading the summary how they will be affected and that includes all stakeholders, not just the internal ones.
Roles and responsibilities
You need to set out wholly unambiguously who is doing what and who is responsible for what.  Then everyone knows who to talk to, where to make suggestions and, importantly, who they need to take any concerns to.  It might look something like this:
Who? Actions Objectives Deadlines
Team 2 Write the syllabus for the new course drawing on what we have and making additions and changes to suit the course objectives So that the teaching team can start to plan and Fred can investigate what published materials are appropriate and affordable By the end of Week 2
Fred Investigate appropriate teaching resources for the new course So that we have everything in place and agreed from day one By the end of week 4
Marketing Consult with Team 2 to design publicity materials setting out the aims and objectives of the course and identify potential markets So that we can start recruitment of learners as early as possible By the end of Week 7
and so on.  This may be quite a long document but it will work in parallel with a timeline and a resources / materials plan.
Resources and materials
If your project requires new resources and materials (and most do), you need to have a plan concerning where they will be sourced, by whom and when.  This will also, of course, include some kind of budget so more than one person or department will be involved.
Budget
Only very rarely is an innovation or major change a cost-free exercise so the original budget for the whole enterprise needs to be set out clearly.  What resources are devoted to the change?  Is there any leeway?  What happens if the money runs out?
Risk factors
Here you need dispassionately to consider what can go wrong and what plans you have in place for addressing any problems which arise.
The schedule
In addition to the roles and responsibilities grid, you need to have a clear, realistic schedule concerning when stages and phases will be accomplished.  This is best set out as some kind of grid that you can alter as time goes by.  Into your schedule you need to incorporate ...
Feedback and progress meetings
You need a plan for how to get feedback on the process as it goes along and where, how and with whom to hold progress reviews.
Make sure you have a clear agenda for these meetings.

presentation

Presentation

How you present your implementation plan is not just a cosmetic exercise.  Clearly worked out consideration of timing, roles, budgets and resource management inspire confidence as well as keeping people (and the project manager) on track.
Use tables and charts to set out the implementation plan but make sure, too, that it is clear what all the shorthand in any flow charts, grids or diagrams means.


materials

An example

Obviously, any example cannot be applied unthinkingly to all projects but some aspects will be common to most.  You need to take the following and amend it to suit your concerns.

Project: A new course in English language skills for local Primary School teachers.
Project manager: Anne Other
Version 3: (date)
Amended to include the proposal from collaborating schools that some sessions of the course will be held in the schools concerned after the end of their teaching days.

Summary:
This project is being developed in response to a new national policy requiring all primary schools to teach at least 30% of their syllabus in English.  This change will be implemented by the end of 2020 and will affect all state- and privately-run schools for children between the ages of 5 and 11.
The School has identified 6 local primary schools who have expressed a desire to cooperate in setting up language training courses specifically for primary school teachers who have hitherto not taught in English.
The total cohort of teachers who are affected is predicted to be around 80 but not all will have the time available for immediate training so the current proposal is for groups of 20 to follow a 4-month, part-time programme starting in Autumn this year.  Dates have yet to be confirmed.

Roles and responsibilities:
The project manager is Anne Other to whom three teams report:
Team 1, Johann and Maria: is charged with meeting all the head teachers of the schools who want to be involved to draw up a clear set of the skills and language which will most urgently be needed.  To this end, they will write an initial draft of our judgement which will then be presented to and discussed with the schools involved.
A second draft will be produced based on the outcomes of these meetings and sent to the head teachers to discuss with their teachers.
Responses from that procedure will be incorporated into a final draft to be completed by the end of Week 3.
That draft will be translated into English and form the basis for syllabus design.
Team 2, Ann, Patrick and Fred: is charged with developing a set of syllabus objectives divided into language systems and language skills targets based on Team 1's final document.
The outline syllabus will be complete by the end of Week 6 and will be sent to the schools involved for their comments.
Comments must be returned by the end of Week 8 to ensure the syllabus is in place by the end of Week 10.
etc.

Resources and materials:
Once the syllabus is agreed (by the end of Week 10), Teams 1 and 2 will combine to write a timetable for a 100-hour course spread over 4 months.  The course is planned to consist of 8 hours input per week during term times.
Drawing on the syllabus, Anne and Peter will investigate the availability of published materials with their costs and identify any areas of the syllabus that will need to be covered by in-house material development.
When that process is complete, the budget for materials will be sent to head office for approval.
It has already been agreed that costs will be shared three ways between the School, the primary schools and the local educational authority.
The School Principal has agreed to negotiate this once a budget is proposed.
etc.

Budget:
No fixed budget has yet been agreed as costs cannot be predicted before the end of Week 12 but a sum of xxxxxx has been earmarked.

Risk factors:

  1. The budget could prove inadequate.  The acquisition of some of the more expensive materials may have to be phased in over the first year of operation.
  2. The teachers in the primary schools may not all be available simultaneously to attend training sessions (because their timetables are quite variable).  Consideration will be given to altering the programme to include weekend sessions when all teachers will be available.
    etc.

The schedule:

Week Action Outcome Meetings Comments
1 Anne to contact all local primary schools to see if they see a need for the course provision 6 schools have agreed to collaborate With all 6 head teachers to plan a way forward Complete
2 Team 1 to start meeting with head teachers and teachers to draw up a list of the skills and language that the teachers lack A provisional list has been prepared With a focus group involving one teacher representative of each school These meetings have been delayed slightly but will be complete by the end of Week 4
etc.

Feedback and progress meetings:
Week 1: feedback from Anne on the views of the schools
Week 3: feedback from Team one on progress so far
Week 5: a full teachers meeting to discuss the content and syllabus as well as methodology
etc.

A final copy of the Implementation Plan forms an appendix to the main text of your essay.
Within the essay, your task is to

  1. describe and discuss implementation plan making clear the principles on which it is based and how these have affected its design
  2. discuss the roles and influence of the various stakeholders
  3. consider any constraints imposed on the implementation process
  4. set out how you will assess the success of the project: when will you do it, what methodology will you use and what will you do with the results?

review

Review what you have written

The Implementation plan carries 25% of the available marks for Module Three so it's important to get it right.
Read through it again when you have finished (or think you have) and check how a reader will react to it.

banana skin

Avoid the obvious errors

Examiners' reports contain more or less the same catalogue of weaknesses year after year so be careful to avoid any of the following being levelled at your course proposal.
For this section, the most frequently cited problems are:

The Module Three ELT Management areas:
Choosing the topic Writing the essay The introduction Situation analysis
Proposal Implementation Reading list Before you submit