Roadmap for State Program Planning
It is important to track progress to provide accountability to funders and to guide management in program improvement. There are a variety of ways to track progress of the state HDSP program goals and objectives, including—
- Plotting milestones.
- Using the Management Information System (MIS). [Note: States that are not funded will not be able to access the MIS.]
What to Do
The HDSP Work Plan is both a guide and a tracking document. The program's activities and interventions should be implemented according to the timeline established in the state HDSP Work Plan. Plotting milestones on a calendar accessible to all is one way to keep everyone current. Mark milestones as "completed" as they are achieved so that everyone who accesses the calendar will be aware of the status of the state HDSP program's activities.
The Gantt chart is a project-planning tool that displays the duration of all activities in a simple table format and allows programs to track progress. Such a chart has several functions including—
- Identifying activities that are to be carried out concurrently.
- Identifying how long an activity should take or how long that activity should be in place.
- Indicating milestones (important checkpoints) and allowing progress toward those milestones to be monitored.
- Detecting interdependencies among activities and ensuring that activity sequencing reflects the need for some activities to be completed prior to completing other activities.
Providing an overview of the entire scope of work and ensuring that it is doable.
Management Information System
The Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention implemented a Management Information System (MIS) [Note: States that are not funded will not be able to access the MIS.] to improve planning and administration of all funded state Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention programs. The MIS enables state programs to provide progress information online and compiles that information for interim and year-end reports.
The MIS can accomplish the following functions—
- Enable states to describe program activities in measurable terms.
- Enable CDC to track progress on state program activities and identify promising practices.
- Reduce state and CDC burden of program reporting and overall administration.
- Assist CDC in identifying training and technical assistance needs in a timely manner.
- Standardizing the state reporting process.
- Enable querying for information in response to specific requests and enhance sharing of "lessons learned" among states.
How to Do It
Certain project management tasks should be conducted while tracking progress of the state HDSP program activities—
- Gather feedback on program components and interventions.
- Modify program components as needed, based on feedback.
- Document and disseminate feedback and lessons learned to appropriate audiences.
- Recognize and maximize unexpected opportunities.
- Recognize and counteract potential threats to the success of the program.