Develop a workplan that gets you from start to finish in terms of plan development and gives some consideration to implementation and evaluation after its launch.
There are some major factors that will impact your timelines and workplan:
- Available Resources: Without dedicated human resources to oversee the plan’s development, it will be difficult to develop a solid plan in timely fashion. If developing the plan is an ‘add-on’ for staff, it will likely compete for their time with other priorities, impacting the work’s quality and timeliness. It is advisable that you have a lead project manager dedicated to seeing the plan through to completion and overseeing various aspects of the process even if they are not necessarily doing all the work themselves. You will have to build a team to provide guidance to the project manager as well and may want to bring in external expertise where you need it. This, of course, has budget implications and may not be feasible with limited resources.
- Consultation Needs and Approach: The number of stakeholders you need to engage and the level of engagement they require will impact timelines significantly and have budget implications. If your community is regionally spread out, you will have to develop a consultation strategy that reaches across communities as well. You may also have stakeholder groups that need to be approached individually for political reasons, thereby increasing the time you have to spend on engagement.
- Data and Research: In some communities, data and information are abundant and readily available. This is unfortunately the exception rather than the norm; barriers to accessing the needed information to develop the plan will impact your capacity to deliver the final document. It will also impact its quality, especially if data is unavailable or poorly analyzed. In some cases, the plan development process will necessarily include a data collection component to make up for the lack of information – such as a youth survey or homeless count. Again, this impacts resource needs and timelines. Communities can engage the COH for support on this issue as well as local researchers where possible.
- Political Changes that may impact the government’s receptiveness to the plan should be considered. If a major change is afoot, such as a looming election, there may be opportunities to leverage these shifts to engage political players in the issue. Candidates may willing to consider your asks around youth homelessness and may even incorporate them into their election platforms, giving you a critical entry into discussion about policy change and funding requirements to support implementation.
A typical workplan spans approximately one year from start to the launch of the plan, though communities, depending on various factors, can see these timelines be as long as two years in practice due to the complex various moving parts and approvals involved in finalizing the plan.
A solid workplan will outline the key components of the work involved, estimate hours needed to complete and identify responsible individuals and timelines. A sample workplan is provided below based on plan efforts completed in community.
Table 11: Sample Workplan
The next steps are to develop a budget to execute the proposed workplan. The main costs of plan development are outlined below for a range of plans.
Table 12: Sample Budget
Account for the approximate in-kind value of community contributions to the effort as well. Pending what’s available, you may be able to reduce your budget accordingly.