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Outcome Mapping Practitioner Guide

Adjusting the progress markers during the course of the programme

Possible ways of adjusting your progress markers during the programme as part of your monitoring cycle.

Author: Steff Deprez

Published: Tuesday 23 September 2014

OM foresees that Progress Markers can be changed and adjusted in the course of the programme. However this is not happening from itself. If the implementation team and/or boundary partners are not consciously reflecting on their set of progress markers, they will most likely not be adjusted.

My experience is that adjustments are mostly generated and suggested by partners or the implementing team because there is a change in the context or because there is a better understanding of the change process. Adjustment can also be induced when there is much more progress than initially anticipated and new progress markers need to be formulated or when there is much less progress than anticipated, people might need to revise the progress markers. In case the programme team decides to adjust and fine-tune the outcome challenge during the course of the programme, there is mostly likely an adaptation of the progress markers set as well.

New progress markers? Sometimes it happens that due to changes in the context or a better understanding of the change process, people identify new progress markers that are important to keep track of. One way of generating potential new progress markers is to review the unintended changes and discuss whether some of these unintended changes are substantial enough or an indication of a bigger change that was originally not intended, but is seen as important to keep track of in the future. The new additional progress marker can than be taken up in the next monitoring cycle.

Stop tracking progress markers? It is possible that some progress markers have reached a sufficient level and should not be taken up anymore in the next monitoring cycle.

Remove progress markers from the original set? It might happen that a specific progress marker – that was originally seen as interesting and important - is later on in the monitoring process not experienced as useful, i.e. even if it does provide data, it doesn’t tell much about the general progress or it’s simply not seen anymore as an important change. In that case, you can decide to remove the progress marker from the original list.

In general, I have experienced that when people know and understand the context well in which they are operating and have previous experience in similar change processes, they seem to be able to develop progress markers that are not changing a lot during the lifespan of the project or programme. In case of entirely new programmes, there is a higher chance that progress markers need to be adjusted along the way.

Related Practitioner Guide sections:

Latin America & Carribean Sub-Saharan Africa North Africa & Middle East South Asia South East Asia & Pacific Far-East Asia Eastern Europe & CIS (ex USSR) Western Europe North America & Canada Australasia