Topic 4: Establishing Implementation Teams

Establishing Implementation Teams and identifying members of a team does not necessarily mean hiring new professionals, or even adding a “new” team.  Begin by assessing existing teams and personnel.  Should an existing team be “repurposed” or redesigned for this work?  Might people be added to a current team as part of the repurposing?  What other factors are there to consider?  Let’s have a look.

How large should the team be?

We recommend a minimum of 3 to 5 individuals serve as core Implementation Team members. Other individuals may be invited to participate in Implementation Team activities from time to time based on their expertise.  However, these individuals may not have the same amount of time to participate in ongoing work (e.g., between meetings).   We recommend 3 to 5 members so the Implementation Team is sustainable.  As individuals leave, remaining members of the team can carry on while a new member is brought on and learns the complex sets of skills required of Implementation Team members.

What selection criteria should guide the creation of an Implementation Team? 

The Implementation Team needs to be comprised of individuals who, collectively, have the expertise necessary to implement the EBP/EII, and to develop and maintain the system and infrastructures to support effective implementation. One or more members of the core Implementation Team should have competency in at least one of the following areas.

There should be Implementation Team members who:

  • Know the innovations – For example, in education, they are fluent in instructional practices or behavioral interventions and understand what proficient practice looks like. They know what supports are available through the curriculum or intervention developer/purveyor and what supports need to be put in place and supported to promote teacher competency.
  • Know and use Implementation Science and best practices – They are well-versed in the key components of Implementation Science.  They understand the Stages of Implementation and appropriate activities for each stage.  They are knowledgeable about Implementation Drivers and are able to assess the integrated and compensatory nature of their functioning.  
  • Employ Improvement Cycles – They make good use of Plan, Do, Study, Act cycles, usability testing, and practice-policy communication practices to continually improve the quality of the components of implementation, the innovation, and the system. They continually identify and address challenges and barriers to effective implementation and achieving positive outcomes.
  • Promote and participate in systems changes – They work at multiple levels of the system to create hospitable environments, cultures, policies, guidelines, data systems, and funding streams.

Activity 3.3
Create a Mock Implementation Team

You have decided to explore the potential of having an Implementation Team in your building, district, region or state.  Looking across your organization, is there an existing team that could be repurposed? Or, do you need to start fresh? Use this starter activity to facilitate your thinking/planning.

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