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Resource Center > Provider Toolkit > The NIATx Way > Allocate Sufficient Resources

Allocate Sufficient Resources

The Executive Sponsor allocates sufficient resources for the Change Project.

Note to Executive Sponsor: We all know that people pay more attention to what we do than what we say. Providing the resources to make change happen is one of the most important messages you can send to staff.

Time Commitment of the Change Leader

The Change Leader needs to have the time commitment required to get things done—and to be able to devote at least one-half day every week to this role. For large organizations, it can take one and one-half days. In any case, the Change Leader’s plate needs to be cleared sufficiently to get the project done in at least six months.

Complete the Project in Six Months or Less

The goal should be to complete any given project in less than six months, under the assumption that the Change Team meets at least every other week for at least 1.5 hours and people do work between meetings in preparation for the next meeting.

The main cost for any project, therefore, is often staff time, including any backup coverage you may need to arrange so that staff can complete the project.

The latter costs are often minimal because, in general, most staff can be expected to do their regular work in addition to the project work. While this may appear daunting at first, it is surprising how the project work becomes more fun, more important, and more satisfying than whatever it was people were doing without the project work. (One exception: counselors are needed for many of the projects, and they still need to see clients, i.e., bill hours. They may need backup.)

Other Costs

Other costs are highly variable. A simple process change, for example, may have a huge impact on the goal without involving any out-of-pocket expenses. To deal with this variability, you may want to establish a baseline budget or expense limit that the team can spend without needing further approval, and develop a process for getting approval for any additional expenses.

A last element in resource allocation is setting explicit guidelines for whether and under what conditions the team can call on other staff for support.