Check people have the right conditions

People are an important part of most policies or services. They can be highly effective if they have the right conditions. But if they don’t, the system might be unsustainable and this might force people to work around it. You can perform a simple check to see if the people in the system have what they need.

When to do it

Do this as part of your analysis of an existing system (following the activity in the chapter: shape your delivery network) or as part of your design for a new system (following the activity in the chapter: generate ideas to test).

How to do it

You should:

  • list all the types of role in the system

  • analyse which of the conditions are in place:

  • accountability for outcomes

  • decision-making power

  • resources (time and money) to spend

Try this activity

This activity will enable you to check if people in the system have the right conditions to be effective.

Time, space and materials

  • 20 minutes

  • any space with a wall, sticky notes, flip chart paper, and pens for a face-to-face event 

  • or for a remote event use a video conference and online whiteboard that will take the place of the wall and enable participants to add and move online ‘sticky notes’

Preparation

People to include

  • your team

  • subject matter experts

  • any number of people

  • a facilitator to give the instructions

Instructions

The purpose of the activity is to analyse if people in the system have the right conditions to be effective.

  1. List all the types of role in the system. Write one type of role per sticky note. Stick your notes to the wall as you write them. You have 3 minutes.

  2. Label the 3 circles: accountability for outcomes; decision-making power; resources (time and money) to spend.

  3. Everyone should now move the sticky notes into the circles, buy only if the condition is present. Each sticky note should be placed inside 0 or 1 or 2 or 3 circles. Discuss the placement of each sticky note. You have 15 minutes.

  4. You now have a map of who in the system has the right conditions to be effective.

Tips

  • The conditions should be scaled to an appropriate level. For example, a teacher should be accountable for students in their class (not the whole school) and a headteacher should be accountable for students in their school (not the whole town).

Next steps

  • If you are designing a new service or policy, then consider how you give everyone all 3 conditions.