Implementation Drivers are key components of capacity and infrastructure that influence a program’s success. They are the core components needed to initiate and support classroom, building, and district level change.

This overview of the Implementation Drivers is designed to help you think about developing and sustaining the infrastructure you need to improve and sustain new instructional practices and behavior supports so that academic and behavioral outcomes improve.

Implementation Drivers are the components of infrastructure needed to develop, improve and sustain the ability of teachers and staff to implement an innovation as intended as well as create an enabling context for the new ways of work. In short, Drivers are the common features of successful supports needed to make full and effective use of innovations that will benefit students and their families.

There are 3 categories of Implementation Drivers:

  1. Competency Drivers–mechanisms to develop, improve and sustain one’s ability to implement an innovation as intended in order to benefit students.
  2. Organization Drivers–mechanisms to create and sustain hospitable organizational and system environments for effective educational services – that ‘enabling context’ we talked about earlier.
  3. Leadership Drivers– focus on providing the right leadership strategies for different types of leadership challenges. These leadership challenges often emerge as part of the change management process needed to make decisions, provide guidance, and support organization functioning.

Implementation Drivers Triangle; Left side (selection, training, coaching); right side (systems intervention, facilitative admin, data systems); Base (leadership); top (fidelity)

Implementation Drivers represent the infrastructure needed to make use of effective and well-defined innovations.

It is important to start with the end in mind. If we look at the active implementation formula (see below), positive outcomes for students represent the “why” in the equation. It is why we want to improve instructional practices and behavioral supports. The “what” in the equation is an effective innovation. We need to know “what” it is we’re going to be implementing so that we can create the infrastructure supports to ensure the innovation is in place, being used as intended, and producing outcomes.

Active Implementation Formula

How will this be done? The implementation infrastructure is the “how” and the next component of our equation. Competency, Organization, and Leadership Drivers are in service to Fidelity to achieve improved outcomes.

In the next sections we will focus on the 3 types of Drivers and their ties to Fidelity. We will consider them through an active implementation lens. An active implementation lens helps us focus on best practices for these components based on the best research and evaluation evidence from Implementation Science.


Driver Activities

Activity 1.0
A Tale of Two Local Education Agencies

See the implementation drivers in action for the use of literacy practices! Through this brief interactive session, you will learn about two Local Education Agencies’ use of the implementation drivers in the context of the student reading outcomes they are achieving.

View A Tale of Two Local Education Agencies  

Activity 2.0
SWIFT Unscripted Podcast - Implementation Drivers as the Engine for Change

SWIFT Unscripted (with Dr. Jessica Meisenheimer) invited Dr. Caryn Ward for an insightful interview on Implementation Drivers. After listening to the interview, discuss with your team members how implementation drivers relate to your system and identify general areas of need to support systems change. 

Listen to SWIFT Unscripted Podcast