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Use a Team Approach

A team approach to developing the plan can bring additional resources to bear on the problem, broaden the support base for the plan, and build capacity for future teamwork.

Divide the recovery strategies into topical areas such as “manage revenues,” “expenditure control” or “organizing efficiently” (administrative structure) – the topical areas will differ for each government and are suggested by the diagnosis performed earlier.

An implementation advisory team (IAT) is formed for each topical area and is charged with developing plans for the recovery strategies that fall within that area. The teams are voluntary and cross-functional and are intended to later facilitate implementation of the plans they develop.

The IATs submit their proposed action plans to a steering committee, generally comprised of executive staff and/or elected officials. The steering committee not only reviews (and approves) plans, but also supports the IATs. For example, the steering committee can encourage the team members’ home departments to shift resources to allow the members – whose regular day-to-day responsibilities must also be met – to fully commit to their IAT tasks.

Here are some keys to the success of the team-based approach:
  • Keep team size manageable. Seven or eight members is an approximate maximum – much more and it will become too difficult to coordinate meetings and get meaningful input from all the members.
  • Use volunteers. Use enthusiastic staff members who really want to be a part of the solution. If a non-supporter’s input is important, then the team can consult this person as-needed. 
  • Take steps to ensure good teamwork. The members of the IATs may not have had much experience working together or working in cross-functional teams generally. Designate a chairperson for each IAT whose responsibilities include setting agendas, moderating discussion, and helping the team reach decisions. Devote the first team meeting(s) to the basics of effective teamwork and teambuilding.
  • Make sure IAT and steering committee members recognize the problem and know the diagnosis. The members of these groups should be versed in the recognition and diagnosis that led the organization to this point. This will help them understand the big picture and produce better results. 
  • Be sure teams are up to the task. First, set achievable goals for the team. For example, an employee work team will find it very difficult if not impossible to develop strategies that impact wages or jobs. Support the teams with technical resources such as books or articles on the topic under review. Sit in on their first couple of meetings to get them pointed in the right direction.  

Go on to Consider Citizen Engagement 

Continue to Step 8. Long-Term Treatments

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