Are you making these three critical mistakes in the logic model in evaluating your program?
A logical model is a great way to create a visual representation of your program. At the core of a logical model, each visual representation, or infographic, illustrates a series of cause-and-effect relationships.
Are You Making These 3 Big Mistakes Evaluating Your Program?
It is very easy to make these mistakes. We understand that program management is hard work. It takes a long time to make sure services are delivered, staff are secured, participants are engaged, not to mention all the other things that pop up here and there.
You’re very busy, so making these mistakes isn’t uncommon — in fact, it’s pretty common. So here we give you information about some of the most common mistakes that are made when creating a form and how to avoid them. These simple actions will take the discrepancy you may have and replace it with confidence!
First mistake: making your model too complex
At its core, a logical model aims to communicate to others your underlying theory or assumption about your program. When logical models are too elaborate or complex, it is not easy to understand or use the information.
A great way to easily identify your main point is to answer this question: “Why is this a good solution to the given problem?”
Logical models come in all shapes and sizes but at the end of the day – they must clearly show ‘what causes what’, ‘in what order’ and ‘what is the desired outcome’.
What do you do instead:
Don’t make your model too complex. Here are some guidelines for creating a basic logic model for your software and a checklist that will help guide you.
_____ Have you identified cause-and-effect connections in an intended order?
_____ Do you communicate the purpose of your program effectively and efficiently?
_____ Do you see the desired results from your program?
If you have each of these elements in place, you have a basic logic model that will successfully engage supporters of your program. Remember that you are not developing a business plan, that is different. Action plans are more detailed and provide step-by-step instructions for the program application.
Mistake two: leaving the logical form, “on the shelf!”
When was the last time you touched your logical model? Do you think that logical models, once created, do not change? This is one of the biggest misconceptions and mistakes made by logic designers and program managers. Believing that logical models are immutable prevents the successful use of the model as a tool in your program.
New information becomes available every day. Obviously, daily review will be boring and inefficient to use your time and effort. Revising your form too often may also prevent you from getting the program up and running or continuing. However, periodic review – at least once a month – promises that continuous learning and program development are present and clearly represented by the key leaders and champions of the program.
What do you do instead:
Use your logic model to show how change will happen as you implement your program. A great way to track these changes is to have program leaders routinely write down areas of success and obstacles. Even if you’re busy making sure programs run smoothly, be sure to review your accomplishments and successes regularly.
Don’t leave it on the shelf – don’t let it gather dust! It is important to maintain a clear focus on the value of your logical model as an effective tool. When used regularly, it can help you anchor your program’s strengths and adapt where there is an opportunity for your program to grow and develop.
Third mistake: “What did she just say?” impact
We’ve all been there – you can stand in front of an audience or sit down with your leadership team and get “the look.” Yes – the appearance that the audience member has no idea what you’re talking about? This has happened to all of us – at least once – and it can be the biggest barrier to participation, support and sustainability.
How do you get the “look”? It is often due to the experience of “what did she just say?” impact. In other words, you are using language that acts as a barrier to communication and understanding rather than enhancing the audience’s knowledge and experience. The third biggest mistake in developing a successful logical model is using too much technical language. Keeping your language simple is key to building support for your program and trust in your main protagonists.
What do you do instead:
A basic logical model is like a simple roadmap that provides information about where and when to go and what the desired destination is. For example, “What I’m going to show you is a graph (or a picture) of what [insert name of program here] He’s doing it, how it’s done, and what we hope to achieve with these efforts.”
Using these simple terms will ensure that the majority of your audience will be on the same page and understand what you hope to achieve by running your show.
I know you faced these challenges with your Logical Model and if you haven’t yet – pay close attention as it may present a challenge in your future.
You don’t want to make these three fatal mistakes, do you?