The 9 Step Implementation Model Overview

Did you know that 9 out of 10 major change initiatives fail, regardless of good intentions? That is an astonishing 90% failure rate! The majority of failure can be attributed to two factors:

  • Not adequately addressing the communication and influence requirements associated with the project
  • Not addressing in detail the role changes that result from the new programs being instituted

The Pathways Implementation Model provides a recipe for identifying desired changes, e.g., expectations, achievement, and access, and a methodology for successfully implementing the "what - content" and the "how - process." Use the tools, and follow the model, and we promise you will see successful implementation of your college-ready programs.

Please remember that every situation is unique, and the tools to be applied, or the technical assistance that will be the most help, will differ. However, the core activities associated with each step must occur at some point for the change initiative to be successful.


Read MoreStep 1: Surfacing the Need for Change

The need for change has arisen within your district or school, or perhaps has been generated externally, e.g., new legislation or new state policy. In any case, the need is viewed as worthy of attention, and the remainder of the steps in the model deal with that need.

Read MoreStep 2: Clarifying and Validating Needs

The need is researched to understand gaps against internal or external benchmarks, and initial goals and strategies for change are established.

Read MoreStep 3: Assessing Level of Preparation

The readiness of people in the school or district to accept and embrace the proposed changes is assessed. Also assessed is the infrastructure capacity, e.g., the ability of processes, policies, and practices needed to support the proposed changes. If they are not ready, you proceed to step four (4), If they are ready, you proceed to step five (5.)

Read MoreStep 4: Preparing for Change

If people and systems are not ready, further capacity building is in order. Or, if resources are lacking, a plan to obtain them must be put in place. Sometimes it isn't resistance to the new idea or program, or lack of resources per se, it is the lack of time given competing priorities/initiatives. In that case, it is a matter of finding the right time to start.

Read MoreStep 5: Refining Goals and Strategies

Once it is determined that the changes have support and the time is right to proceed, refinement of the goals and strategies is in order.


Read MoreStep 6: Creating Project Structure

It is often the case that once the overall change goals and strategies are clear, a new team will be put together to get the project off the ground and see it through to completion. It is at this point that many projects fail, as they do not take into account the change leadership requirements necessary for success. For example, some of the actions and skills required at this time include:

  • The creation of a clear project governance structure
  • Role definition for all key stakeholders involved in the project, particularly project team members
  • Team building activities
  • Project management skill development, including meeting management skills
  • Detailed project planning

Read MoreStep 7: Increasing Change Capacity

In addition to the foundational project activities noted in the previous step, the ability to implement effectively will require:

  • Leadership development
  • Communication and influence training
  • Organization design training - infrastructure development
  • The creation of a measurement system for assessing the impact of the change and for making appropriate adjustments to ensure the project success
  • The creation of a new role description for those whose task responsibilities are changing
  • Professional development for those whose roles are changing


Read MoreStep 8: Implementing the Initiative

Once the change leadership requirements have been met, it is time to implement the expectation, achievement, and/or access program selected.

Read MoreStep 9: Measuring, Adjusting, and Sustaining

During this step, the measurement systems developed in step seven (7) come into play. These systems ensure that as soon as the feedback is received anything is off track, adjustments can be made immediately.