A Guide to the Implementation Process: Stages, Steps, and Activities

(Published 2014, March) | Useful to Parent Centers and SSP staff involved in SSIP work and the implementation of evidence-based practices for systems change

Implementation science is the study of the processes needed to bring new practices into widespread use. These recommendations and process described in this guide are based on findings from implementation science. The guide describes how to apply implementation science to improve child and family outcomes in early childhood education programs, including early intervention and preschool.

Parent Centers and state and local personnel can benefit from knowing about implementation of science and utilizing it in planning the systems improvement strategies and processes to be used to improve outcomes for children with disabilities.

Download the guide from:

Also available:

Glossary of Terms | Http://ectacenter.org/implementprocess/glossary.asp

State-level Self-Assessment | Http://ectacenter.org/implementprocess/state-selfassess.asp

Local-level Self-Assessment | Http://ectacenter.org/implementprocess/local-selfassess.asp

PowerPoint Presentation | Http://ectacenter.org/~ppts/implementprocess/guide_to_the_implementation_process_2014-07-29.pptx

More about Implementation Science
To improve outcomes, an evidence-based practice or innovation must be selected, and the process of implementing that practice or innovation must be effective. Yet, changing policies or guidelines, and providing information and training alone are not adequate to bring about sustainable changes in practice. To adopt evidence-based practices, the implementation process must also address the organizational supports that are necessary to initiate and sustain the practices with fidelity. The following stages of implementation are described in the guide:

  • Exploration
  • Installation
  • Initial implementation
  • Full implementation
  • Expansion and scale-up

Each stage has specific steps and associated activities. While the stages, steps, and activities suggest a linear sequence of events, in actual implementation there is often more dynamic flow to the work. Some stages or steps may occur simultaneously, and the work often circles back to earlier stages. The guide also looks at implementation drivers such as technical leadership and adaptive leadership, organizational supports, and personnel development mechanisms-which must be aligned with and support the new practices to be adopted.