Build a Roadmap
You have your solution. Now what? You will need to plan your next steps - for both short-term and long-term goals. We’ve provided some exercises and activities to help your team develop a roadmap for implementing your solution. It can be developed by an individual, with feedback from the team, or as a team together.
With an understanding of your solution's scalability, you will develop a roadmap for implementing your solution. This includes defining what success is to your team, identifying the hurdles you may encounter, leveraging the strengths you have, and developing a plan for how you will organize to implement your solution.
The world, including the landscape of education, is rapidly changing. You want to make sure that your solutions is evolving with it. Set up a way to track and reinforce progress and impact, as well as providing evidence of success. Think about using “snapshots” of before and after implementation, personal stories or case studies, or celebrations of successes - no matter how small they are.
Plan for support
Creating a base of supporters is key to successful scaling and implementation. There are three key groups of support that you should involve in your implementation strategy. Make a list of everyone your team should engage in support of your solution -- you can refer to the stakeholders that you identified in Define.
- Key users (students, colleagues, administration, parents, etc.). If you have stayed true to the design thinking phases, your users should readily give their support to your solution. It was built to improve the education experience of your user(s), so they should be your number one advocate.
- Key stakeholders (colleagues, administration). Again, if you’ve stayed true to the design thinking activities, and kept your stakeholders involved in the development of your solution, buy-in from your stakeholders should already be given. The more people that understand and buy into your idea, the more they can take ownership of it. With evidence collected from your users, try to enlist not only the people who are excited about your idea, but also those that are more skeptical. While you can’t please everyone, you can create a tipping point of adoption.
- Partnerships. Find partners outside of your system who can help you make your solution even stronger. Think about what capabilities you need, not only in knowledge base or tangible skills, but also in soft skills. From here, identify and reach out to potential partners to collaborate on your endeavor. Do you need a designer’s tangible skills? A businessperson’s knowledge of the market? A friend’s extensive network? By partnering with the experts you need, you save time in having to build these skills yourself.
Identify potential challenges and opportunities
Before you begin, take some time to think through the impact that your solution will have on your school, district, or community - and what will help or hinder success. More specifically, identify potential challenges you will face - such as points of resistance and barriers to development - and discuss ways to mitigate.
Similarly, identify potential opportunities - such as strong capabilities, relationships to leverage, and quick or easy wins for support - that you can lean on to gain traction.
Translate goals into milestones
In order to achieve your ultimate goal for your solution, what needs to happen? This takes all the points above, and synthesizes it into a project roadmap that will help your team stay aligned and on target.
List out all the milestones you need to achieve, as well as the supporting tasks that enable you to reach those milestones. Assign deadlines, owners, associated costs, resources needed, and any other planning aspects.
By the end, your should have a comprehensive roadmap for what it will take to implement, scale, and sustain your solution!
Think big, start small, scale fast
Consider the principle, “think big, start small, scale fast”. You’ve already demonstrated the value of your solution from the work you’ve done, now you have to determine its viability and feasibility. Start with a series of small-scale pilot experiments - much like you did in Play - and begin to scale up to full implementation as you learn what works and what doesn’t.
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