How to make full use of a Theory of Change? It's all about teamwork


(Stacey McDonald) #1

In a past #fundamental-fridays post, I briefly mentioned that a theory of change as a tool to develop a program theory. This week, I’m going to share a great article by Ben French at Research to Action that gives advice on how to develop a #theory-of-change - hint: it’s all about teamwork.

French says “it’s useful to think of [a theory of change] as a statement of intention: where we want to get to. Determining this answer should lead to a plan of action,” a plan that evolves and changes over time as it responds to emerging problems and challenges.

He goes on to say that it’s rare to see true agility in projects, and suggests that this is because the focus on the team is lost. For an organization to really get the full value out of using a theory a change (as opposed to jotting things down once, and rarely referring to it), its development needs to be a team effort, with input from the whole team, if it’s going to truly become ingrained the work.

This bit of advice really resonates with me, and explains some of the challenges we’ve had. I look forward to using some of the advice here. Does this resonate with others?