4. Planning Your Intended Change /

4.3 Defining your activities

STANDARD:

We can state the main activities that will lead to our success.

To meet the standard in full, you have identified the actions (sometimes called activities) you need to take to achieve your positive outcomes. Your success depends on how effectively these activities lead to outcomes.

So how should your social enterprise go about achieving its intended outcomes? How can you ensure that your work will make a difference at all? With so many activities possible, how do you choose? 

You might want to start by thinking about the characteristics of your beneficiaries. Take account of the setting you are working in and the resources you have. Consider the outcomes you are working towards. The actions you choose should best suit all of these factors.

When identifying activities, it can be helpful to work backwards from your intended outcomes. For example, ask yourself, “What outcomes do we need to achieve?” and for each consider, “What would it take to succeed?”. By defining your activities in this way, each action you take should logically lead to and enable a specific outcome to occur.

Remember that a single intervention carried out in isolation is not likely to solve a complex social problem like homelessness, so you might want to think about the combination of actions necessary and who else you will need to work with to achieve change.

Consider also the practicalities of how you will deliver activities that can achieve maximum impact. For this you can use the 5 W’s questions (Who? What? Where? When? Why?). Try to take into consideration the tasks and people required, the way things will be done, and the time needed to do them.

Finally, don’t forget to regularly revisit your activities. You can use measurement data to track trends and results, and continuously refine your activities as needed. You’re unlikely to get things perfect the first time, so ensure that you are learning along the way. Section 10 examines how you can learn as you go and use evidence to change course.