Designing an Effective NEW Mentoring Program

By Barry Sweeny, 2002


Overview of the Whole Program Development process

The recommended process for development of a new program is much more complex than described here.

  • Almost every step in this process is supported by other web pages on this web site which have the best practices for the more complex steps in the process.
  • There are a few basic assumptions on which this model is based, such as WHEN and HOW to do certain steps. These are clarified in those other pages too so you can decide if they are YOUR assumptions.

The “overview” presented on this page is provided just to give you the big picture, so that as you get into the greater details of the process, you have a rough idea of how all the parts of the process fit together. We suggest that the best way to use it is to print it out,

Getting Started 1. Create a program planning group (PPG)

  • Identify needed institutional & constituency partners
  • Identify, contact & recruit representatives
2. Discuss and define desired results, and write program purpose statement
3A. Define/select the conceptual framework underlying participant development & improvement of results3B. Develop or select a Best Practice Framework for a Mentoring & Induction Program
4. Define links among this program and other existing improvement initiatives and goals
Research 5. Search for program & participant best practices linked to desired results in the relevant literature

  • Collect articles, books and research reports
  • Read articles and write summaries of content
6. Presentation to PPG of the best practices linked to desired results
Needs 7. Assessment of local needs

  • Employee needs
  • Organizational needs (retention, improved performance, etc.)
  • Accountability needs & issues
8. Assess what each participant group already knows and can do related to expectations, role & tasks, once those are defined. in step 12.
Program Goals & Strategy 9. Review information & select appropriate strategies

  • Discuss research information & data
  • Reach conclusions about which needs to address
  • Reach conclusions about program strategies & participant practices that address selected needs, i.e. traditional configuration or alternative,
Time Line 10. Set measurable long-term program goals and objectives for each of the first three years
11. Discuss a plan for program implementation & set an implementation time line
Roles & Tasks 12. Define participant expectations,roles, and tasks

  • Protégés
  • Mentors
  • Managers & Supervisors as various levels
Incentives 13. Discuss and define necessary participant incentives & recognition
Program Evaluation Plan 14.Plan the program evaluation

  • Develop parameters & standards for program evaluation
  • Define evaluation questions to be answered
  • Define audiences for evaluation data, conclusions & recommendations
  • Discuss & select measurable indicators to evaluate that link to program goals
    • Completion of planned program activities & extent of program implementation
    • Completion of planned participant activities
    • Attainment of program goals and objectives
    • Professional growth of participants & leaders (eg. changes on conceptual framework)
    • Extent to which identified needs are met
    • Extent of change in professional practices by participants and leaders
    • Changes in protégé learning, performance & productivity
  • Check alignment of evaluation indicators to program goals & objectives
  • Define data collection process
    • Identify target audiences from which to collect data
    • Identify tools needed to collect data and need to validate tools
    • Define data collection, analysis, and reporting time line
    • Select person(s) responsible for implementation of plan
  • Develop targets for improvement for each indicator
Selection & Matching 15. Discuss, define & plan program recruitment materials, participant recruitment, selection (& matching?) processes & criteria
Training 16. Discuss, define program leadership needs & plan program leadership training & support needed
17. Discuss, define & plan participant training & support needed
18. Discuss, define & plan other needed program activities & their coordination
Budget Planning 19. Define resources and budget needed to support the program
Program Proposal 20. Prepare a program proposal providing:

  • participant & organizational needs
  • research on others’ mentoring programs and their effects, best practices, lessons learned, etc.
  • program goals & description
  • program implementation plans
  • program evaluation plans
  • needs for resources & budget to support the program and attain desired results
Seeking Support 21. Communicate with and seek program support from key decision makers
22. Use your program proposal to seek grant funding for initial implementation
Implementation 23. Implement plans according to the implementation time line and available budget
Data Analysis 24. Collect & analyze program evaluation & needed participant data
25. Reach conclusions about progress toward goals & other program indicators
26. Reach conclusions about needed program revisions
Refinements 27. Implement needed program revisions
Report to Decision Makers 28. Report to decision makers & participants on program changes and participant progress