The ‘CES Guide to’ series lifts the lid on some of the approaches we use for our work with agencies, service providers and government departments. One of the core areas of our work is supporting implementation of programmes and services. Implementation Teams are widely recognised in implementation science as helping implementation to be successful, and have been used to support implementation across lots of settings from health and social care to education, justice and services for children and young people, or older people.
When you’re looking at introducing a large change it is important to have a team in place to oversee and support the change, and to push it forward. This is where implementation teams come in. They lead change in an organisation or service and provide guidance to others who will be affected by that change. They should not be confused with steering groups and other governance structures – their primary purpose is to implement change. Implementation teams can help in identifying the barriers and enablers to implementation, engaging with stakeholders, building collaboration across sectors and units, and monitoring progress.
The most important factor involved in implementing a change is having dedicated people who can provide direction and support. This may seem obvious, but implementation teams work best when they include a range of skills and competencies. This may include content or subject matter expertise, along with organisational knowledge, implementation expertise and change management. You don’t have to start from scratch and can repurpose an existing team to work on implementation, but the team must have the skills and expertise to implement change. You may need to recruit additional team members.
When setting up your implementation team, ask
Read about how Implementation Teams helped to implement the HSE Nurture Programme.
Interested in sharing your experience of implementation with others? Join the Implementation Network of Ireland and Northern Ireland – a free network to share best practice and learn more about Implementation Science. To join, email Shauna Pankhurst at email@example.com