Plan of Work
Plan of Work Development
The development of the county four year plan of work begins in the fall of the final year of the current plan. Each county begins the process by conducting a community needs assessment designed to identify the programmatic thrusts upon which Extension work should focus in the coming years. Those programmatic thrusts, or MAPs (Major Areas of Programming), will form the basis for the new Four-Year Plan of Work - a series of annual plans, linked together in a four-year cycle.
During the following spring a new four year plan of work will be submitted for the four-year cycle which will begin July 1. In each of the three subsequent years, the plans will be updated to include new activities and events based on the accomplishments of the previous year as well as to include new or emerging issues.
We realize that the programs and activities in the current plan of work will not all abruptly end, but a new community needs assessment to determine whether we are still on course with our current programs and to identify new issues which have emerged is important at this time. This work will be the basis of the new 4 Year Plan, which may be updated annually. It is possible that relevant MAPs from ongoing programming from the current plan of work will carry over if the situation in a county requires it, but this plan of work should result in at least some new program direction or change of emphasis.
What is to be included in the Plan of the Plan of Work?
Remember, the plan of work does not represent everything that agents do. MAPs should represent major program thrusts identified by local program advisory groups and others whom we have invited to the table during this expanded needs assessment effort. Don’t try to make everything you do fit into one of the MAPs. Since this plan of work will take a more focused approach by targeting programs to identified audiences, all planned educational events may not appear in the plan of work. Work outside of the domain of the MAPs may still be accounted for and reported under “EFFORTS NOT RELATED TO MAPS,” but certainly a significant portion of work reported should be reflected as planned and appear in the plan of work.
Developing Your Four Year Plan of Work
The format and template for the plan will essentially be the same as previous years. We follow a basic Logic Model. We begin the process by 1) identifying the current situation and then 2) identifying outcomes that we would like to bring about. For each of the county’s MAPs, specify outcomes in terms of desired long term (SEEC), intermediate term (Practice), and initial term (KOSA). 3) Then identify the indicators used to track progress on those outcomes and how the indicators will be measured. 4) Finally, generate a list of the educational experiences that will be conducted that are directly related to accomplishing the desired outcomes, as well as a list of resources required.
Identifying the current situation
Briefly describe the situation to reveal why this is an issue? Is this something that Extension can play a role in resolving effectively? Agents bring information to the table to stimulate initial discussions and then challenge leadership to more fully explore and discover programming opportunities in their communities. Through situation analysis the County Extension Council and program councils examine the community for issues, problems, and opportunities which can be effectively addressed through Extension programming. The three major sources of information useful in conducting a situation analysis are existing data, resident perspectives and current research and knowledge.
Identifying Outcomes Guides the Program Development
By looking at the identified long term issues our programs can address (SEEC), determining what people must do differently if they want to address this issue (practice), and then deciding what people have to know in order to change their behavior (KOSA), we can plan educational events for the appropriate audiences.
- (SEEC) Social, Economic, or Environmental Conditions - Also referred to as long-term outcomes in the Logic Model. SEEC-level outcomes describe the social, economic, or environmental conditions that are anticipated to result from work related to the MAP. No matter how distant such outcomes may seem, we must be able to identify the “bottom line” or “the big picture outcome.” What difference will this program make toward improving the community or enhancing quality of life?
- Practice - What will people do differently as a result of participation in these Extension programs? Usually, changes in social, economic, or environmental conditions only occur when people do things differently or change their behaviors (intermediate outcomes in the Logic Model). Therefore, desired practices are those behaviors or actions which people must perform if the desired social, economic, or environmental conditions are to be achieved.
- (KOSA) Knowledge, Opinions, Skills, or Aspirations - It is unlikely that a person will change their behavior unless he or she possesses the knowledge and skills required to do it. Furthermore, he or she must believe that it is in their best interest to perform the behavior before the desired change will be performed on a regular basis. Consequently, many Extension programs focus on helping program participants acquire one or more of the KOSA components. Identify the specific changes in knowledge, opinions, skills, or aspirations which are expected to result from this program’s efforts (short term outcomes in the Logic Model).
The impact of a program needs to be evaluated with pre-determined indicators of program effectiveness. In this section of the plan, agents will identify the indicators they will use to determine if the desired SEEC, Practice, or KOSA level outcomes for the program have been achieved. This is done by targeting one of the identified outcomes and developing a plan to measure knowledge gained, practices changed or longer term outcomes, such as dollars saved or a change in local conditions.
- List as many impact indicators as practical in order to document outcomes at the SEEC, Practice, or KOSA level.
- Agents are encouraged to focus on the Practice level changes since this shows action was taken on the part of clientele and dollar values and social changes may be assignable to these changes.
- It is also important that the plans for measuring impact listed are as specific as possible. For each indicator, agents should tell how they plan to measure it, when it will be measured and the audience the data will come from. For example:
- Outcome: Adoption of personal health protection practices appropriate for their life stage.
- Indicator: The number of program participants who adopt at least one personal health protection practice for at least four weeks.
- Method: Data will be collected through the use of a follow-up questionnaire.
- Timeline: Questionnaire will be mailed to graduates of the course six weeks after the final session.
Each agent planning to evaluate an activity or an outcome of the program should include an outcome evaluation plan in the Plan of Work.
Educational Experiences Planned
To be effective, the program should include repeated contacts with an identified audience using an array of educational activities/methods to achieve the desired outcomes. The selection of these methods is based upon the subject matter to be taught, intended audience, and available resources. This section of the plan of work will contain a listing of those educational experiences to be conducted during the next twelve months which are directly related to achieving the desired outcomes.
For each educational experience listed, identify the activity, content or curriculum to be used and the date or time of year it will be conducted. In many cases, the agents involved in the activity will also list their initials as a sign of commitment to this particular activity.
Submitting Your Plan of Work
Draft versions of the plan will be submitted to the District Director on paper or electronically, as determined by the District Director. District Directors should communicate any specific preferences they may have regarding format of the draft.
You may use the Plan of Work (MAP) Template located on the Program and Staff Development web site for creating the MAPS. Save the template as a Word document and then duplicate copies as needed. This version should later be able to be cut and pasted into Plan of Work software.
Since this is a new Plan of Work we will not be rolling over the current Plan of Work and then having counties make revisions on-line. The new Plan of Work will need to be entered as a new document, although counties should have the ability to cut and paste from the draft copies.
Other Relevant and Related Information
PAC Codes This year you will be asked to include in the Plan of Work the Program Accomplishment Codes (PAC Codes) you anticipate reporting against. PAC Codes in the county Plans of Work have been requested by specialists as a way of searching for specific activity. In reporting against the POW, PAC codes are used as a way for us to sort data and to link the plan of work to Kentucky’s strategic goals. There are PAC codes for each of the broad strategic goals, for specific subject matter areas, and for “Featured Programs.” Agents need to be encouraged to submit plans and report outcomes using the most specific PAC Code applicable to the activities so that plans and outcomes can be identified in the system. When planning and reporting under broad category topics Agriculture, FCS, 4-H, Leadership, Staff Development, and Administrative Functions, instead of specifics like "Get Moving Kentucky," "Farmers Market" and "4-H Volunteer Livestock Certification," the details of those contacts, impact and other efforts are lost. The complete listing of current PAC Codes is included in the “Plans of Work,” “Success Stories” and “Service Log” reporting sections of KERS.
County Civil Rights Plans
Now the Affirmative Action Plan The County Affirmative Action Plans (formerly Civil Rights Plans) includes specific goals, strategies for reaching those goals and reporting progress toward identified goals. The Affirmative Action template is organized to reinforce the document’s use as a county plan for action as well as a resource guide for local training.
The goals and strategies identified by the counties are all contained in one section of the plan and provide a link between the Plan of Work and the Affirmative Action Plan. The goals and strategies established in the Affirmative Action Plan will now relate more closely to targeted programs for underserved audiences in the Plan of Work, and counties are asked to specifically report on their efforts and accomplishments in this area.
Revised by Tanya Dvorak, Senior Extension Specialist, December 2015.