Now you've gone through the ground work of establishing who needs to be involved and the scope of the project, it's time to get planning.
Appointing a Project Lead
You'll need someone to lead on the project to keep up momentum and hold all the information that is accrued. This person shouldn't just be a figurehead, you'll need someone who has the time and enthusiasm to drive the project forward, to get involved in the detail and be a standard bearer for change. And, it's not enough to let them do it alone, they'll need the whole team and especially the leadership backing them.
Getting a plan in place
Obviously it's a good idea to have a planning document to track the process. To help you out we've put together a schedule template and have included some indication of how long you might need for each step. Obviously timelines vary enormously depending on lots of factors including the size of the team, the time constraints they face and the complexity of the requirements for a new database, but we're always asked how long it will take to get a new system in place so we've tried to give you a ballpark idea to help you set expectations.
Project schedule template (Excel file)
Creating an outcomes framework
You’ll need to be clear about the activities and outcomes from your work that you want to track so that you know what data to collect. You could do this using a Theory of Change approach or a simpler Monitoring and Evaluation framework. We've added a couple of templates below to help you with this process.
Theory of change template (Powerpoint file)
Monitoring & evaluation framework template (Powerpoint file)
Bringing everyone with you on the journey
This is also the time to put in place any cultural or operational changes that will help you on your journey. This could include:
- Helping everyone to understand the value of a database and the potential benefits it will bring
- Ensuring there is time and space for people to voice their apprehensions and ensure they are accounted for in the process
- Getting people as involved as possible in the design of the database – building in this co-design approach will reap rewards later on
- Reassuring people that it will help, not hinder their current practices