Workplans: A Program Management Tool
Program Planning: Goals
The first component of a workplan is "goals." Now that you have identified priority problems, we will look at developing a sample goal.
Goals are general, "big picture" statements of outcomes a program intends to accomplish to fulfill its mission. (Be sure you know your program's mission.) They should not contain a measurement.
A goal may focus on something new or it could concentrate on fixing a problem. Either way, the goal should be written so that the desired outcome is clear.
A workplan goal answers the question:
"What do we want to accomplish this year?"
One of the easiest ways to develop an appropriate goal is to focus on your priority problems. For example, one of the problems selected as a priority was "not reaching screening goals for cervical cancer."
To create the goal, simply REVERSE the problem statement. "Increase screening for cervical cancer." (You will determine how much you want to increase it when you develop your measures of success, discussed on the next page.)
After you develop your goal from the problem statement, you should review it to be sure that it is comprehensive. How might you edit this goal for clarity?
"Increase the number of women screened for cervical cancer."
Remember, your goal is a solution to your problem—your desired outcome.
Next is a practice exercise so you test your understanding of what a goal is.
Sample Goal: Increase the number of women screened for cervical cancer.
To assess whether this goal is appropriate, based on the case study, ask the following questions:
- Is this a general statement of what a program or program component hopes to accomplish during the year?
- Does it describe the desired outcome the program intends to accomplish?
- Is it written clearly? That is, do you understand what the desired outcome is?
This goal appears to meet all of the criteria and is appropriate given what we know from the case study. We have developed one goal as an example. When you develop a workplan, you should develop goals to address all of the priority problems you identified.
Instructions: For each priority area identified in the case study, we have drafted two potential goals. Please read the sample goal statements and choose the answer you believe to be correct.
A) Increase the number of eligible women screened for breast cancer.
B) Screen 90 percent of women by the end of the year.
1A—Correct! This goal, to increase the number of eligible women screened for breast cancer, is a general statement of what the program wants to accomplish, and states the desired outcome clearly.
1B—Incorrect! The other goal statement is the better choice. This goal statement, to screen 90 percent of women for breast cancer by the end of the year, is not a general statement (it contains a specific number), does not describe the desired outcome clearly (does not state what type of screening or whether the goal is to screen ALL women or just those who are eligible), and is unrealistic (data review suggests that the present program is screening 10 percent of all women in need).
A) Increase the number of eligible women rescreened for cervical cancer over last year's rate.
B) Increase the number of eligible women rescreened for cervical cancer through an effective local television promotional campaign and community service posters voluntarily distributed in local stores and hair salons.
2A—Correct! This goal, to increase the number of eligible women rescreened for cervical cancer above last year's rate, is a broad statement of what the program wants to accomplish.
2B—Incorrect! This goal statement is not the best choice. It is not general; it provides specific communication channels that would be more appropriate for an objective statement, as we will see in the next sections of this course.
A) Increase the general public's awareness of the Sunflower Program's services.
B) Develop an effective public relations campaign to increase the use of the Sunflower Program's cervical cancer screening services by women aged 40 years and older.
3A—Incorrect! The other goal statement is a better choice. This statement, while very broad, does not identify the types of services to be publicized and the intended audience adequately.
3B—Correct! This goal statement is general, while clearly identifying the audience (women aged 40 years and older in the program), and identifies the types of services to be publicized (cervical cancer screening programs).
Now we will move to the second part of the workplan development process, "Measures of Success."