The design and development of programs are crucial for any organization. They assist in defining objectives and determine the best course-of-action and also allocate resources efficiently. But defining and conducting program development isn’t easy–it requires careful consideration of the specific needs and expectations of all stakeholders. The best method can result in an effective development plan that maximizes the impact and ensures everyone is satisfied with the results.

A logic model is a common tool that guides these efforts. This is an illustration that shows how the day-to-day activities of a program relate to the desired outcomes. It helps you to think in a systematic way about how your program should function including the way and time it will bring about change. The model is built from left to right and can include arrows to depict the order of steps.

The first step is to identify all the inputs needed. The next step is to identify the key activities that will take advantage of these inputs. From there, you can draw out the expected outputs of these activities, and ultimately the outcomes you want to achieve (both short-term and long-term). Then the model should describe the impacts these outcomes will impact the target audience.

Another important part of this method is to determine any risks or challenges that your program may face. Tools like environmental scanning techniques can assist in identifying external and internal factors that could impact on the success of your program. Finally, this stage is a great opportunity to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your organization–using these insights, you can develop strategies that can better position your team for future success.