Developing a Technical Assistance Plan
Guided by data gathered during the Exploration Phase, develop a formal TA plan. (4, 12, 20) The goal is to create a plan that: (12)
- Facilitates change
- Provides structure to guide the process
- Reflects a mixture of content-driven and relationship-based approaches
- Is consistent with your own strengths and preferred ways of working
Creation of a TA plan typically involves negotiation with team members and administrators to ensure they are committed and will provide needed resources.
Share the plan with the team and administrators as part of a TA agreement
It is helpful to develop a TA agreement at the same time the written TA plan (incorporating the strategies below) is created. Depending on your preferences and the situation, the agreement may include the whole plan or just relevant elements. (See “Tools” for some examples.)
Having team members sign an agreement increases the likelihood that they will follow through with their commitments.
Advice from Colleagues
In addition to indicating commitment, a TA agreement helps focus the team on realistic outcomes and gets everyone on the same page.
Tools and Resources
Summarize information collected during the Exploration Phase
The plan should include a summary of the key findings gathered and decisions made during the Exploration Phase, including:
- Child and agency details
- Specific practices or programs to be implemented
- Desired goals or outcomes
- The level of TA required (universal, targeted, intensive)
Outline roles and responsibilities
Provide clear expectations regarding team member roles and responsibilities and your responsibilities as the TA provider.
Advice from Colleagues
It is very helpful to have a "team leader" when providing TA to groups. This ensures that the team keeps moving forward in their work!
Outline operational details
These include timelines for specific tasks, a meeting schedule, and resource requirements such as: (1)
- Organizational or structural changes (e.g., changes to scheduling or staffing needed for the program to work)
- Release time for staff training
- Non-human resources (e.g., equipment, space, technology)
Select TA strategies
A key section of any TA plan is a description of the TA activities and strategies most likely to lead to change and build capacity. (12) Details about specific TA strategies are provided in the Initial Implementation Phase section of this guide. Here are direct links to the relevant pages:
Tailor the strategies to address strengths, challenges, and barriers identified during the needs and readiness assessments conducted during the Exploration Phase. (20)
Include a communication plan
A communication plan provides details about how the team should contact you and how you will share information (e.g., progress updates, issues that require discussion and action) with team members, administrators, and other relevant stakeholders throughout the TA process. (1)
Identify one person from the team to be a single point of contact with whom you can reliably communicate.