Recovery Boost video transcriptions
1. Why we are running Recovery Boost?
[Presenter] Why are we running Recovery Boost?
Taking a step back and looking at the Recovery Boost programme at a wider level, why has SIRA chosen to do a grant programme for the Mentally Healthy Workplaces strategy?
In 2019 SIRA listened to the stakeholders across the mental health system, and based on their feedback, and also based on the research in this area, it was found that there were five thematic points or issues currently within recovery in the workplace, specifically with regards to mental health issues.
One of them was negative stigma towards people with mental health issues, poor recovery outcomes, the lack of evidence-informed interventions available, a lack of evaluated recovery at work interventions, and lastly, that workplaces don't have adequate support to help individuals' recovery at work.
With those five points in mind, SIRA came to the conclusion that a grant programme would help facilitate building strengths in all of those areas, and want to address these core issues through funding projects that will address some of these problems.
2. What is Recovery Boost?
[Presenter] So, let's just quickly go over the Recovery Boost programme.
What we know. Workplaces play an important role in preventing mental health issues and supporting recovery.
Support provided by workplaces can lead to improved financial and social outcomes for employers and employees.
There's currently only a small evidence base of what workplace-based solutions for mental health issues work well.
Recovery Boost aims to increase the evidence for successful approaches to supporting mental health recovery in the workplace.
What's SIRA's aiming to do with Recovery Boost is to improve the outcomes of individuals experiencing mental health issues and to help strengthen the evidence base by funding innovative interventions and innovative solutions that help people recover at work.
3. Example project
[Presenter] This case study is about a regional council, parks and gardens team.
The small regional council which covers a lot of area, has employed a number of people with disabilities and mental health issues in their parks and gardens team recruited from a regional TAFE horticulture and landscaping programme. These staff feel very isolated and would like to engage more with people who enter the park and use the facilities. Many of these staff suffer from varying levels of social anxiety and have had time off in relation to this anxiety and depression, even though they perform their job tasks well and enjoy the work.
The Council wants to support these staff and educate the public about the needs of these workers, as well as reduce stigma and promoting positive interaction between these staff and the general public, and other Council staff. They've looked at materials related to depression and anxiety and have used some of these materials with this group, but feel that they require something more focused around celebrating the successes of the workers and improving their self esteem and image with the public to have an ongoing positive effect.
Their idea is to produce a series of videos featuring these workers and other relevant staff to promote the council's recreational parks and gardens and showcase the work of parks and gardens staff, as well as to encourage the public to engage with all outward facing staff and "say hello". Part of this would include short interviews with various staff. It's anticipated that the interactions between staff in the development, filming and promotion of these materials will also foster a closer working relationship with other staff in a positive setting.
The Council is talking to the local TAFE campus, approximately 15 to 30 kilometres from the 12 parks and gardens in question, which has a Marketing Media course where students and staff could work with the Council to create the materials as a Work Integrated Learning experience, which will contribute to their course. If this project is successful, the TAFE campus would like to include this type of assessment in working with other councils in the area.
The Director of HR and Head of Department of the TAFE Business School will lead the project. The Council will employ a project manager to liaise with the Council and TAFE staff and take responsibility for developing and monitoring the project planning, transport, budget and distribution of the finished materials. Part of this will be a celebratory dinner for council and TAFE staff and students to launch the videos and release, through various channels including social media and mainstream media if possible. Part of this would include ongoing posts and photos of some of the gardens featured in the initial materials at different times of the year.
One of the staff at the TAFE is interested in research and would like to write up a case study of the project for inclusion in the graduate education programme. The project is aiming to provide an inclusive work environment that supports staff in their mental health recovery by increasing their self-esteem and promoting positive interactions with other council staff and the public.
Measures of success would focus on positive interaction between staff with disabilities and mental health issues and other staff and members of the public. More broadly, project success will be reflected in improvements in the mental health and wellbeing of the parks and gardens workers and the council work environment becoming more inclusive for all staff.
Some information that could inform whether the project has been successful could look into changes in staff sick leave requests. The existing information about positive interactions and staff members' confidence is anecdotal so some thought about how to document this to provide evidence that is measurable will be considered.
This could include ways of documenting interviews with staff and/or development of a survey to capture data at key points throughout the project, and also follow up stage to support ongoing sustainability.
4. Project design
[presenter] These are the first steps that you would take in creating a Recovery Boost project.
The first step is to determine what the problem is that you want to solve. You may already have a good idea of the problem based on your organization's existing work. It's always good practise to look at what knowledge already exists about the problem beyond your organisation. It's also important to think about who the project will benefit and the target group you'll be aiming to reach. For example, in the case study, the target group would be parks and gardens employees who are struggling with mental health issues.
It's important to think through early on who that target group is, so that you can develop a project to the benefits them. You would then develop the project aims you want to achieve based on who the target group is. This is a good point to look at how your project aims align with the funding categories and principles of the Recovery Boost programme. You should be able to tell at this point that the project you have in mind who would be eligible for Recovery Boost funding.
It's also important to have clear deliverables in mind. These are the products that will be delivered during or at the end of the project. Having a list of key deliverables will help develop the concept of your project.
Finally, you will want to look at what programmes and support already exists to address the problem you want to focus on in your project. The concept of Recovery Boost is to find innovative and new approaches to mental health recovery at work. So if there are approaches and activities that already exist, you should try and avoid delivering a similar kind of project or look at how existing approaches could be tailored to new target groups.
The resources listed here, give you some idea of what workplace recovery programmes are being run by organisations such as Beyond Blue, Black Dog Institute and Heads Up. It's important to do some research about what is happening in Australia and internationally to see what other sorts of programmes and interventions currently exist.
5. Example project design
[Presenter] We'll now run through a few questions and the answers, relating to the Regional Council case study to further explore how some of the first steps of project design could be applied to an example project.
As you consider each of these questions, also think about how they could apply to your own project. What is the identified problem that this project is trying to solve?
For the case study, this could be, employees with disabilities and mental health issues are feeling stigmatised, resulting in them taking time off work. Who will benefit from this project?
For the case study, this could be, employees with disabilities and mental health issues other the council staff members and members of the public visiting parks.
What are the aims of this project? For the case study, this could be, support staff in their mental health recovery by increasing their self-esteem and promoting positive interactions with other council staff and the public.
What are the deliverables you will produce through this project? For the case study, this would include, a series of educational videos and related media material, launch event for council staff and TAFE staff and students, a work integrated learning assignment for marketing and media students. Finally, is there any evidence that supports this approach?
In terms of the case study, this could be evidence that includes, articles from not-for-profit publications and publicly available evaluation reports of similar interventions.
We'll now discuss project outcomes, which will also be covered during the session on Bringing Your Evaluation Together.
There are many different definitions for the outcomes but a commonly used one is clear high-level statements that represent the desired result of the project or programme.
They are an important part of designing your project and should align with the project aims. Outcomes should also be nested within the broader aims, the Recovery Boost Grant programme.
Begin with the end in mind and consider the goal you hope to achieve through your project.
Once you know that, then you can start thinking about how to go about achieving it, including the steps that are required to deliver the project.
Make sure that the outcomes align with the programme aims, funding principles and funding categories set forth by SIRA.
As part of evaluating your project, you will need to show how your project has met the recovery boost aims. So it's important that your outcomes are consistent with the programme aims.
Outcomes can also be divided into categories based on when they are likely to be achieved. For example, short term, medium term and longterm outcomes.
It helps to think about the timeframe so that it builds a pathway from what you are trying to do during your project through to the short term, and then longer term outcomes.
Measuring outcomes will be covered during the session on Bringing Your Evaluation Together.
Thinking about that the concept of outcomes in relation to the Regional Council case study, we'll now work through some of the possible outcomes for this project.
Bear in mind that most projects have multiple outcomes they are hoping to achieve.
For this case study, we should first think about the aim of the project. In this case, supporting staff and their mental health recovery by increasing their self-esteem and promoting positive interactions with other council staff and the public as this can be the basis for some outcomes.
Some possible outcomes for this case study could include, interaction between staff with disabilities and mental health issues and other counsellors staff is positive, parks and gardens staff with disabilities and mental health issues feel more confident to interact with members of the public, the mental health and wellbeing of employees with disabilities and mental health issues improves, the council work environment is inclusive for all staff.
These outcomes align with the programme aimed at supporting workplace mental health recovery and the target group for the project, which is parks and gardens staff, as well as other council employees and members of the public.
As you can see from these examples, outcomes should be phrased as statements in the present tense.
6. Develop your project outcomes
[Presenter] We'll now discuss project outcomes, which will also be covered during session on bringing your evaluation together.
There are many different definitions for outcomes, but a commonly used one is clear, high-level statements that represent the desired result of the project or programme, an important part of designing your project and should align with the project aims.
Outcomes should also be nested within the broader aims of the Recovery Boost Grant programme. Begin with the end in mind and consider the goal you hope to achieve through your project.
Once you know that, then you can start thinking about how to go about achieving it, including the steps that are required to deliver the project.
Make sure that the outcomes align with the programme aims, funding principles, and funding categories set forth by SIRA. As part of evaluating your project, you will need to show how your project has met the Recovery Boost aims, so it's important that your outcomes are consistent with the programme aims.
Outcomes can also be divided into categories based on when they are likely to be achieved, for example, short term, medium term, and long term outcomes.
It helps to think about the timeframe so that it builds a pathway from what you are trying to do during your project through to the short term, and then longer term outcomes. Measuring outcomes will be covered during the session on bringing your evaluation together.
7. Example outcomes using case study
[Presenter] Thinking about the concept of outcomes in relation to the Regional Council case study, we'll now work through some of the possible outcomes for this project.
Bear in mind that most projects have multiple outcomes they are hoping to achieve. For this case study, we should first think about the aim of the project.
In this case, supporting staff with their mental health recovery by increasing their self-esteem and promoting positive interactions with other council staff and the public, as this can be the basis for some outcomes.
Some possible outcomes for this case study could include, interaction between staff with disabilities and mental health issues and other council staff is positive.
Parks and gardens staff with disabilities and mental health issues feel more confident to interact with members of the public.
The mental health and wellbeing of employees with disabilities and mental health issues improves.
The council work environment is inclusive for all staff. These outcomes align with the programme aimed at supporting workplace mental health recovery and the target group for the project, which is parks and gardens staff, as well as other council employees and members of the public.
As you can see from these examples, outcomes should be phrased as statements in the present tense.
8. What is evaluation
[Presenter] In its most basic form, evaluation involves the investigation of a programme or project to examine the extent to which it is having the desired effect and examines what is and isn't working in relation to that programme or project.
Evaluation is commonly used by government and non-government organisations to assess how well policies and programmes are working in practise. It's considered good practise to consider and plan evaluations when you design a project so it can be prepared for an advance and the project design takes this into account.
This means that evaluation can work hand in hand with project delivery.
It's important to know that evaluation is not intended to pass judgement on whether a project is right or wrong or to assign blame for any shortfalls.
It's not about picking holes in a project and instead of focuses on identifying learnings for future service delivery, such as improvements that can be made to the project or applied to other similar projects.
Evaluation is particularly important for Recovery Boost so that SIRA can build the evidence base for workplace mental health recovery solutions that can be used by other organisations in the future.
9. Types of evaluation
[Presenter] There's a huge range of evaluation approaches, but they typically fit into two main types of evaluation: Process and outcome evaluations.
Process evaluations, which is sometimes called implementation evaluations, focus on the initial implementation of a project and whether the implementation activities have been delivered as planned.
This includes the systems and processes that we use to implement the programme or project. It can be conducted during project delivery or soon after it has ended.
Outcome or impact evaluations are focused on determining what has or hasn't changed as a result of the intervention, and whether the project has achieved its aimed and intended outcomes.
Outcome evaluations also examine who was affected by the changes, how, and the context for the change, as well as any unintended impacts and outcomes.
This type of evaluation is most relevant to the recovery of boost programme, for understanding whether a project has made a difference and achieved the outcomes in line with the programme aims.
It is not uncommon for evaluations to include both process and outcome elements, and evaluations may start with process evaluation and then move into conducting an outcome evaluation.
10. Designing a project logic model
[Presenter] One of the first steps in planning an evaluation is to develop a programme logic.
A programme logic is a tool that describes how a programme or project should work.
They are often developed at the beginning of an evaluation, but it can also be used more broadly for planning programmes and projects and identifying key elements.
It is best practise to develop a programme logic even if you're not planning to conduct an evaluation, as it sets the intended pathway for the project and communicates what you hope to achieve for your project to all of your stakeholders.
There are many different versions and types of programme logics, but the Kellogg Foundation Programme Logic is one of the simplest and easiest to use.
As presented here, it has four elements; Inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes. Inputs are the resources that enable a project to take place and completed, including components such as people, funding and infrastructure.
Activities are what needs to happen for the project to be delivered. Outputs are the products or services that result from the delivery of the project.
Outcomes are the design result, including effects and impacts of the project, which can be divided into short term, medium term and long term, based on when they are likely to occur.
A good resource to use for creating programme logics is the New South Wales Health Developing and Using Programme Logic Guide, which provides step-by-step instructions for creating a programme logic.
Too often that even the guide uses slightly different terminology such as impacts instead of short-term outcomes.
11. Example project logic model
[Presenter] As shown here, the example inputs fit into the categories previously described.
For example, people include the council director of HR, parks and gardens employees, TAFE staff, and the general public.
Funding includes the recovery boost funding. Resources include the existing promotional materials and the video equipment.
The activities listed here are drawn directly from what is described in the case study. Including recruiting a project manager, establishing a project working group with key council and TAFE members, preparing materials for interviews with employees such as scripts and interview questions, arranging, conducting and creating videos, editing and finalising videos for upload, implementing a communication strategy to promote videos, and then organising a celebratory launch event.
A good way of determining whether something is an output, is asking whether it is quantifiable or whether it can be counted. Interview materials, employee interviews, videos produced and the celebratory launch event, are all things that can be counted.
The example of outcomes listed here, are the same as the ones referred to in the session on designing your project including interaction between staff with disabilities and mental health issues, and other council staff is positive.
Parks and gardens employees with disabilities and mental health issues feel more confident to interact with members of the public, the mental health and wellbeing of employees who have disabilities and mental health issues improves.
The council work environment is inclusive for all staff. If you have previously developed outcomes for your project, then you can easily transfer them into the programme logic.
But you also need to check that they match up with the outputs and activities, and that there aren't any gaps in the programme logic.
Often when evaluators developed programme logics, they insert the outcomes first before developing the other programme logic elements so that they are sure that the first three elements definitely result in the outcomes that have been selected.
12. Example evaluation questions
[Presenter] Let us use the Regional Council case study example to consider some possible evaluation questions.
In the session on designing your project, we suggested the project aim could be to support staff in their mental health recovery by increasing their self-esteem and promoting positive interactions with other council staff and the public.
Here we have suggested four example questions to address this overarching aim. Does the project improve interaction between staff with disabilities and mental health issues and other council staff?
Has the project resulted in improving confidence of staff with disabilities and mental health issues to interact with members of the public?
In what ways did the project improve mental wellbeing of parks and gardens staff with disabilities and mental health issues?
And did the project change the council work environment related to inclusiveness for all staff?
13. Develop success measures
[Presenter] How do we assess whether the project is successful?
This relates to some of the concepts presented in the project design session about measuring success and how to develop project outcomes.
Outcomes generally have clear high-level statements that represent the desired result of the project.
Begin with the end in mind. What's the goal you hope to achieve through your project? Outcomes can be reflected in short term, medium term, and long term categories, based on when they are likely to be achieved. I will touch on this again shortly.
Measures are used to assess the extent outcomes have been achieved.
By this, we generally refer to numeric quantifiable metrics. Some common measures include numbers, for example.
The number of confirmed COVID cases in New South Wales. This is an example of a common measure we are seeing reported regularly at the moment. Proportions.
Another example measure is the proportion of New South Wales cases in Australia which gives a sense of the share of a total population.
Note multiple measures may be used to assess success of the same outcome. And finally data sources.
These are used to provide evidence for the measures. Measures can be drawn from existing information, such as administrative data.
This is typically data that is collected routinely as part of the delivery of a service. For example a hospital collects data on all patients that are admitted for care, including information about the patient and about the hospital service provided.
Or often new data might be needed, which is collected specifically to determine the measures required for the project.
This could include introducing new surveys or conducting interviews to gather new information for the purpose of the project.
Outcomes, measures, and data sources are all really important elements of an evaluation plan.
14. Example success measures
[Presenter] We will touch on our case study example again here.
To demonstrate how we might measure success and to think about where the data could come from to determine the measures.
One of the example outcomes we introduced in the session on designing your project was, "Parks and gardens employees with disabilities and mental health issues feel more confident to interact with members of the public."
The component we might look to measure is the level of confidence to interact.
And it is the employees that we want to count here. Success might be represented by seeing an increase in the number of employees feeling confident.
We also want to consider what data sources could be used.
Now, employees feeling confident is not likely to exist in the current data source.
But, this could be collected by asking the employees about their feelings of confidence.
This might be through a survey or interviewing these staff members.
They could be a regular staff survey rolled out, or interviews conducted through human resources reviews with employees.
The second outcome example from our case study is, "The mental health and wellbeing of employees with disabilities and mental health issues improves."
This is actually quite a broad and potentially long-term outcome to achieve which may have many ways to measure success.
One of the possible measures we've proposed here is the number of sick leave days taken by employees.
This was mentioned in the description of the case study as one of the issues raised.
Success might be represented by seeing a reduction in sick leave days taken.
15. Evaluation planning
[Presenter] - Now I want to touch on the methods that could be built into an evaluation plan relating to data collection and analysis.
The case study examples we've introduced so far, reflect a mixture of quantitative and qualitative data.
All of which can help produce a complete understanding of a project.
Let's look at a potential survey with staff or members of the public. Survey methods to consider, describe who will be surveyed? How will you recruit them? And the mode of the survey could be online or in paper, or in person.
You need to design the questions to be asked. And this also requires some thinking about the likely answers and how to count or aggregate the results.
Interactions might be reflected in categories or scales of positive to negative.
Well, you might want people to describe in their own words the nature of the interactions.
Perceptions, similarly, you can design questions to be answered in categories to count responses for a numeric measure.
For longer descriptions might need a qualitative approach of assessing common themes of different responses.
Finally, describe how and when a survey will be conducted and analysed to assess success or change. Interviews with staff members.
Again, you need to plan how to recruit your staff members to take part in an interview.
Prepare the questions to be explored which ideally will be consistent when repeated for multiple interviews.
You can explore through interview discussions, the nature of interactions, descriptions of the feelings, and perceptions and reasons.
Similarly, as for surveys, describe how and when these will be analysed in a qualitative way.
Look for common themes that might reflect success. For example, the majority of employees reflected positive interactions.
Finally, accessing existing administrative records.
This is actually more complex than it sounds.
Particularly, when data relates to people's personal information.
There are likely to be ethical issues to address and privacy implications.
For which there is strict legislation in Australia to protect people's privacy.
You need to describe how to access or request de-identified data from the owner of the data source.
In our case study example, this might be the HR department of the council.
It might be reasonable for a report to be generated that provides total numbers of leave days in a period of time, but not by individual person Identify data items that you want reported.
For example, there are many types of leaves.
So you need to define that sick leave is the specific type you are interested in.
Finally, you want to plan how you will analyse the data to reflect a change which will hopefully reflect a reduction in sick leave over time in our example.
16. Evaluation reporting
[Presenter] Now let's spend a minute talking about reporting.
At the end of each project or evaluation, a report is typically required.
There's a couple of things to remember when reporting on your project. Number one is that it's important to write your report so that it is meaningful to the intended audience.
In this case, SIRA. Number two, no one-size-fits-all.
The content and the format of a report should be designed to suit the project and the intended audience.
And number three, the content of the report should bring together the methods you used and your findings, and the findings should relate back to the evaluation questions that are in your evaluation plan.
You also need to include conclusions, and typically included is recommendations.
These recommendations and conclusions should also be informed by your findings.
A typically evaluation report content includes the executive summary, usually a one to two page summary, a full description of the project, your aims and evaluation questions, the evaluation methods that you used. and your findings including outputs and outcomes, and then your conclusions and recommendations.
And please remember that SIRA is trying to build the evidence-base around workplace mental health.
So a well-written report would be very, very important.
The last slide in this session provides evaluation and resources that are really excellent as you go forward with your project.
These include in the New South Wales Health Developing and Using Programme Logics, A Guide.
The New south Wales Department of Premier and Cabinet Evaluation Toolkit.
The Better Evaluation website and the Australian Evaluation Society website.
17. Example evaluation plan
[Presenter] Welcome to this session where we'll bring an evaluation plan together using the case study.
How do we create an evaluation plan for this case study? Well, we begin with the aim.
The overarching aim is to support staff in their mental health recovery by increasing their self-esteem and promoting positive interactions with the public.
Next, we develop evaluation questions.
Next, we develop outcomes, and remember, you've already developed outcomes in your programme logic, so you can use the same outcomes.
Next up then is to develop measures to assess how you're progressing on your outcomes.
And then lastly, you describe the data sources that you'll be using.
We'll go through each one of these in the subsequent slides.
This slide provides a template for the evaluation plan. It's very useful because it provides documentation on one page of your project's aim, evaluation questions, outcomes, measures, and data sources.
Using the case study as an example, our first grouping, the evaluation question, the first evaluation question is, does the project improve interaction between staff with disabilities and mental health issues and other council staff?
The example outcome would be, or could be, interaction between staff with disabilities and mental health issues and other council staff is positive.
Now, the example measure would be council staff express positive experience of interaction with other staff.
So the way you measure this, or the potential data sources you would use, would be surveys or interviews with Parks and Garden employees.
The second example evaluation question would be, has the project resulted in Parks and Gardens employees being more confident to interact with members of the public?
And the outcome that goes with that question is Parks and Garden employees with disabilities and mental health issues feel more confident to interact with members of the public.
The example measure would be Parks and Gardens employees express confidence in their ability to interact with members of the public.
And the way you would gather that data would be from surveys or interviews with council staff and the general public.
The next set of example evaluation questions would be, to what extent did the project improve the mental health and wellbeing of employees with disabilities and mental health issues?
The outcome would be the mental health and wellbeing of employees with disabilities and mental health issues improves.
The measure is a reduction in sick leave taken.
The way you'd measure that is through the council workforce recordkeeping. And the fourth set of evaluation questions pertain to, did the project change the council work environment related to inclusiveness for all staff?
The outcome would be the council work environment is inclusive for all staff, with the measure being council inclusive work policies are in place and council staff perceptions of inclusivity at work.
The way you'd collect that data would be through council recordkeeping and also through surveys and interviews.
It's important to note that outcomes can have more than one measures associated with them and in many cases would have two to four, probably, measures for each outcome.
Now, because of the cumulative nature of measures and outcomes, it's also pretty key to remember that within your project planning, you really want to limit your outcomes to about between three and six.
Anything more than six really leads to a very complex evaluation plan and makes it very difficult.
So in this slide you see the complete evaluation plan.
The aim, the example evaluation questions, the example outcomes, the example measures that relate back to each of the outcomes, and then your potential data sources.
18. Introduction to project planning
[Presenter] In this session, we will walk through how to plan your project.
During the session, we will discuss how everything comes together through effective project planning.
This will include showing you how to prepare a detailed project plan that includes a timeline for your project, activities and tasks, milestones, and responsibilities.
We will also look at developing risk management strategies in creating a project budget, plus some other considerations, such as ethical implications and conflict of interest.
We'll close our webinar series with a brief reminder of the Recovery Boost grant application process.
Planning your project encompasses everything we've already discussed as what's required throughout delivery of your project.
This diagram shows the broad process for project planning including understanding the recovery boost programme, including reading through the programme guidelines and application form, designing your project and planning how to evaluate your project.
This brings together all elements covered in the previous sessions and makes the project happen.
Project planning and management is continuous throughout the entire project.
You don't just do project management at one point as you need to continuously check your progress towards achieving your milestones and meeting deadlines.
Your project plan provides documented roadmap that describes the implementation and conduct of a project.
Project plans come in a range of forms, but they generally describe what needs to happen, how it should happen, who is responsible for doing it, and what the associated timelines are. It document all aspects of a project in detail, including timeframe, roles and responsibilities and services and products being delivered.
Good planning also involves identification of potential risks with mitigation strategies and the resources required to conduct the project.
Project management is the process of overseeing the conduct of all the plan project elements.
It often involves ongoing assessment and revision of the plans.
They're not a static document and need to change over time.
As the project evolves due to changes in project scope, timelines, and the people involved.
As the project occurs, it is worth asking yourself, has an activity been completed? Has a deliverable been met? If not, why not, and what might need to change? Project plans provide reassurance to stakeholders and funders the resources are managed appropriately.
This accountability element is important for being able to show Xero what you have delivered with the Recovery Boost funding.
Project planning and management approaches should be designed to suit the nature of the project, organisations, and people involved.
There is some flexibility in how you create a project plan, depending on the type of organisation you are in and the work that is being delivered.
It's important to create a project plan that suits the nature of the project you are running.
This diagram shows the key elements of a project, include the timeframe activities, milestones, and responsibilities.
As you can see some of these elements, such as activities and milestones link up with the programme logic we discussed in the session on planning how to evaluate your project.
This illustrates that you can start planning your project with the end outcomes and evaluation in mind, and use this to now work backwards and think about each step of your project.
Project schedules are useful for determining the timeframe of the whole project and each activity or task of the project, including identification of completion dates.
You need to realistically consider how long each activity will take and when deliverables will be completed. You can draw on your experiences of previous service delivery and projects to determine what a realistic timeframe would be for this project. A Gantt chart is a common tool that provides a graphical illustration of a project schedule.
Here we have an example Gantt chart for the regional council case study, which breaks down each of the identified activities, and indicates when these activities are likely to occur over the project timeline.
Gantt charts can be more detailed than this, including breaking down the schedule by weeks and days.
You can use activities from the project logic to identify specific tasks that will need to be undertaken.
In a project plan, you need to describe each task that will be undertaking during each activity. Deliverables list specific outputs such as products and services that are produced during the project.
Milestones and deliverables should align with the outputs identified in the project logic, but you may want to add more detail when you create your project plan.
They may be produced during specific activities, or when the project is completed.
There should be a clear line between the activities you'd be undertaking and the milestone and deliverables that will be achieved.
Examples could include training sessions, events, reports, and meetings.
This will depend on the specific focus of your project.
As part of the responsibilities section in your project plan, you need to identify the roles for each person involved in the project, including who is responsible for each activity and task that will be undertaken.
This allows accountability to be documented and managed over time, including when changes are made to the project design governance structures can also be captured in roles and responsibilities, including reporting lines and management structures.
19. Managing project risks
[Presenter] Managing risks. Risk management is a key part of effective project planning and management. It allows for the identification, assessment, and management of potential risks to a project.
So what are risks? A risk is an uncertain event or condition that could occur. If it does occur, it may affect the project deliverables in some way. A good way to describe a risk is in three components.
The example risk, the cause of that risk, and the impact. So using a case study example, an example of risk is the filming in Park A is delayed.
What's the cause of that risk? Because an extreme weather event results in damaging conditions during the scheduled filming. the potential impact, the filming takes longer to develop than planned.
So how do we assess risks? This process is very much about thinking through the logic of a possible risks scenario.
With an assessment of how likely it is to happen and what the potential consequence may be if it were to occur.
This is often a personal subjective judgement , based on your experience and knowledge.
Risk ratings are a common way of categorising the severity of likelihood and the consequence which can inform how much effort you might put into mitigating that risk.
Risk ratings can often be defined to suit your project.
There is no one size fits all.
How do we go about mitigating risks? Well, firstly, we develop a strategy to prepare for the identified risk in order to reduce the impact.
Strategies might be preventative, which are designed to modify the environment to prevent the risk from taking place.
Or it might be contingency to plan for alternative approaches.
Your risk rating might inform the resource you put aside for the mitigation strategy.
A higher rated risk might require some funds or people power to set aside.
Lower level risks might only require periodic monitoring.
Risk registers are very commonly documented in a project plan.
This layout presents a very simple way to document risks for our case study example.
This first one describes a risk of a delay in planned filming of interviews in the park because of unfavourable weather conditions.
Which means filming cannot take place during the scheduled timeframe.
And therefore, filming takes longer than planned.
The likelihood we've rated as medium, and the consequence we've rated as high.
The mitigation strategy describes the delay in filming will delay the majority of all subsequent project activities.
And we want to ensure multiple parks in other regions or alternative undercover options are available as backup filming locations.
So we've ensured that there is a contingency for this particular risk to ensure that there is in fact no delay to the project.
The second example here describes the loss of core team members, which I've rated as a low likelihood and low consequence in the short timeframe of the project.
Partly because my mitigation strategy allows the structure of backup staff with knowledge of the project to be ready to assist.
Now, this could be rated quite differently in different circumstances.
For example, the project manager might be quite integral and irreplaceable.
So your ratings really are your own judgement for the purpose of your own projects.
20. Developing your project budget
[Presenter] Development of a project budget is something that is needed in the planning phase of any project.
This table represents the common elements that will be needed for your recovery boost application to SIRA. It's important to understand this budget represents the total cost to run your project, not just an estimate of what the grant component might cover.
So the income elements up the top. We've got the first one described as contributions from your organisation.
This might represent funds that will come in from known fundraising or operating activities, for example.
The other income amount is anything not captured elsewhere. In kind contributions allow you to identify inputs that don't really come in the form of tangible dollars. For example, donations or loaning of filming equipment. Which will mean that you don't actually need to purchase that equipment yourself.
So it represents an in kind contribution to the income of the project. The expenditure items. Now there are usually more categories for this than the income categories. So you need to estimate the salaries and on costs for employees who will be working on a project.
Any external contractors who will be brought in and need to be paid separately. Any administrative costs such as printing or stationary items. Capital costs, these might be building or venue investments.
Travel costs. In the case of this programme, there's a new South Wales government policy that stipulates benchmark travel items such as flights and accommodation. And then any other items that aren't really captured in one of the other categories.
So it's important that you itemise this information as best you can.
21. Ethics and conflicts of interest
[Presenter] A couple of other considerations we wanted to touch on that are important in the project planning phase.
Ethical implications. It's important to include a summary of any ethical issues you've identified, and whether you think approval might be needed prior to conducting your project.
You need to consider the potential risk of harm to people participating.
Now this is not necessarily physical; this could be emotional harm, which is often likely in mental health projects.
You must respect the rights, privacy, dignity, and entitlements of those affected by contributing to your project or its evaluation.
Now ethics for programme evaluation should be considered in the context of human research, ethics, and integrity.
Now there's often a distinction to the way ethics is assessed for health service provision versus research purposes.
If an evaluation involves high ethical risk an application for an external ethics review might be needed, so we've included a couple of resources here for you to look into further information, or get a bit more guidance on ethical considerations.
Finally, conflict of interest. It's important that you include any perceived conflict of interest you or your organisation might have.
Even if you're unsure, it's better to raise it in your application. It's important to note that a conflict doesn't exclude you from consideration of a Recovery Boost grant.
It simply highlights something that might need to be monitored as part of the risk management activities.
22. Application requirements
[Presenter] In terms of project applications, there are a few things that SIRA consider particularly important, including what the project's aiming to deliver.
What are the project's expected outcomes? What's delivered? What's the evidence that the project is needed? For example, what information do you have that warrants this project being funded?
How the project will be evaluated. Your organization's capacity to deliver the project. Any relevant experience that you have. And finally, a project methodology and budget.
In other words, how you'll actually implement your project. And your risk management approach which is about identifying your risks and what you're going to do to mitigate those risks.