This short blog has been written in response to a request via Twitter on any ideas I might have about how a team leaders in a school (at whatever level) might go about deciding on their priorities.
As always, context is all. The degree to which you might want to consult with your team will very much depend upon the experience, capacity and performance of your team. So what follows is not a defined process. Rather it is a collection of slides illustrating some simple tools, many of which are really well known and can be used by teams in planning workshops.
In my mind there are three distinct stages within this process:
- Create some ideas
- Assess their potential
- Plan for action
Simple process of just gathering ideas from the team. Often best done by individuals first before sharing within the group.
Using SWOT can be a simple way to build a bit of structure around ideas generation.
Once you have your options, using Amit Varma’s model can be a really easy way to assess priorities. Again, you might ask individuals or the whole group to try to plot the options on the graph.
You can also use a weighted table when assessing options. Once you have the options recorded on the left, identify the key factors that will help you decide. These could include, for example: (i) strength of evidence it will work in your context (ii) how much time it will take to establish (iii) how much it will cost (iv) how much staff training will be needed (v) how sustainable it is.
You can then score each option in the first column (on a scale of say, 1-5). The second column is a chance to weight each factor (say from 1-3 on how important you think it is). You then multiply the first and second column for each factor and fill in the third. This number is then totalled across all the factors for each option.
Finally, here are a couple of models that lots of school leaders are starting to use when it comes to planning and keeping things really simple. Pages-long development plans have, thank goodness, started to become a thing of the past.
The checklist below, based on a couple of well-known change models combined, can give a simple ‘checklist for change’ that can make sure no key steps in planning for a change are missed. A Word version of this can be found in the articles section of honk.org.uk