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A Program Manager’s Guide for Program Improvement in Ongoing Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Programs

A Program Manager’s Guide for Program Improvement in Ongoing Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Programs: The RAND Toolkit, Volume 4

Gery W. Ryan
Carrie M. Farmer
David M. Adamson
Robin M. Weinick
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 56
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  • Book Info
    A Program Manager’s Guide for Program Improvement in Ongoing Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Programs
    Book Description:

    The RAND Program Manager’s Guide is a tool to help assess program performance, consider options for improvement, implement solutions, then assess how well the changes worked, with the intention of helping those responsible for managing or implementing programs. Specifically, the tool is intended to provide practical guidance in program improvement and continuous quality improvement for all programs.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8484-2
    Subjects: Psychology, Management & Organizational Behavior, Health Sciences

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures and Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Summary
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    Between 2001 and mid-2011, more than 2.3 million service members were deployed in support of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, including Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and the recent operations in Iraq, Operation New Dawn. These operations were marked by multiple long deployments; nearly half of service members who deployed did so more than once during this time frame, with many serving in theater several times. Evidence suggests that a substantial number of service members have experienced combat and operational stress-related problems, such as posttraumatic stress disorder and depression, and others have been faced with ongoing problems as...

  9. CHAPTER TWO Assessing Whether a Program Is Working Well
    (pp. 5-14)

    This chapter describes a process for assessing program performance. Its purpose is to describe an informal and exploratory approach that is intended to help administrators or managers of ongoing programs come to a clearer understanding of how well the program is working.

    To know whether a program is working well, it is essential to assess the degree to which the program is reaching its overall goals and objectives for the specific population targeted and the degree to which each of the program’s activities is being carried out so that it accomplishes its intended purpose.

    As shown in Figure 2.1, this...

  10. CHAPTER THREE Identifying Problems in Programs That Are Not Working Well
    (pp. 15-22)

    Chapter Two was designed to help determine whether a program is accomplishing what it was intended to do. Since many programs, despite their best intentions, often fall short of expectations, an important next step is pinpointing where problems are occurring and why. Chapter Three describes this step in detail (Figure 3.1).

    Programs underperform or fail across a wide range of activities and for many reasons. It is common for a program to underperform due to multiple problems rather than a single concern. Program managers often find that a few comparatively minor problems can limit a program’s effectiveness.

    To determine what...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Identifying Potential Solutions, Selecting Among Them, and Determining Whether They Are Working
    (pp. 23-32)

    After determining the reason or reasons that a program is not working as well as desired (Chapter Three), the next step is to figure out how to solve the problem, which is the focus of this chapter (Figure 4.1). This involves addressing four questions: (1) How can the program performance assessment identify potential solutions? (2) How can program managers choose among solutions? (3) How can chosen solutions be implemented? (4) How can program managers tell if the chosen solution is working?

    There are no simple formulas for deciding where to intervene in a program that is underperforming. You might, however,...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE Next Steps and Conclusions
    (pp. 33-34)

    Assessing program performance is a critical task for any program. In a context of limited funding and resources, programs must be able to show that they are meeting established goals and are working as well as possible. By carefully spelling out SMART goals and establishing mechanisms for identifying and resolving threats to program performance, program managers and other stakeholders can be confident that programs are meeting mission needs. The task for programs is to implement a system of CQI by completing the steps outlined in Chapters Three and Four to identify and resolve any staff or system problems that may...

  13. APPENDIX A Program Worksheet for Assessing Performance
    (pp. 35-36)
  14. APPENDIX B Formal Program Evaluation
    (pp. 37-40)
  15. References
    (pp. 41-42)