Improving Systems, Practices and Outcomes

Kicking Off SSIP Phase III

As states begin SSIP Phase III, the focus shifts from plan development to implementation and evaluation of the plan. Planning is a process, not a single event or a final written document; it is about engaging staff and stakeholders to work toward achieving the State-Identified Measurable Result (SIMR). This document offers considerations and resources as states begin the journey of implementation. Each section provides key resources and key considerations to support states in implementing and evaluating the SSIP.

Here are some key considerations for implementation in Phase III:

Project Management: How will the various activities of the plan be managed?

  • Appoint a lead person for each major activity or initiative.
    • Designate a person to lead each activity.
    • Share information, coordinate the work, and track progress.
    • Review activities and determine the best place to start.
  • Communicate with and engage staff, stakeholders, providers, families, and communities.
    • Share the plan in multiple ways with as many key stakeholders as possible (e.g. Parent Centers, early intervention providers, other state agencies with whom Part C coordinates).
    • Involve staff to provide insight into issues, challenges, and opportunities.
    • Foster buy-in and commitment by engaging stakeholders in execution of tasks and activities in the plan.
    • Clarify roles and responsibilities.
  • Link the implementation to everyday activities.
    • Integrate the plan into current agency and program initiatives to leverage resources and create commitment.
    • Discuss at staff and stakeholder meetings at all levels.
  • Track and summarize progress.
    • Track and summarize progress through a well-defined process (e.g., project management processes and tools, plan-do-study-act cycles).
    • Acknowledge partial progress; this can keep people motivated.
    • Prioritize available resources to support the implementation of ongoing activities laid out in the plan.
  • Learn from experience.
    • Use process and outcome data to leverage implementation successes and make adjustments in the plan to address implementation barriers.
    • Ensure that feedback loops are in place to promote sharing of information about implementation.
  • Create a culture to support the change.
    • Remember that change is hard and takes time.
    • Create a culture from top to bottom of commitment to reaching the State-identified Measureable Result.
    • Celebrate successes both small and significant.
    • Create open communication/feedback loops.
    • Make success everyone’s responsibility.

Roles and Responsibilities: Who will be responsible for implementation and evaluation?

  • Clarify roles, responsibilities, and expectations for implementing the improvement and evaluation plans if not identified in Phase II.
  • Team member roles are assumed or assigned. Roles define who will do what.
  • Responsibilities are the specific tasks or duties that team members are expected to complete as a function of their roles. For example, a responsibility of a team lead might be to ensure that all activities are coordinated. Responsibilities define who will do what.
  • Each role and responsibility should be clearly defined through collaboration among all implementation team members. Expectations clarify how and when the work will be done. Including team members in establishing expectations helps to build agreement, commitment, and a common understanding.
  • IDEAs that Work: Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education

The ECTA Center is a program of the FPG Child Development Institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, funded through cooperative agreement number H326P170001 from the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the Department of Education's position or policy.

Project Officer: Julia Martin Eile     © 2012-2019 ECTA Center

  • UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute