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Looking Back: Reflecting on the Work

Before we talk about your team’s New Year’s “resolutions”, it is best to first take a moment and look back on the work of the last year. For those of you are familiar with SVJI’s work for a while, you know that we use a continuous improvement method with teams, called the Phases of Systems Change, which include: Assessing the Status Quo, Making the Change, and Measuring the Change.  What we are encouraging you to do now is a combination of Measuring the Change (looking at the work of the team and seeing how it went) and Assessing the Status Quo (what is the current state of the response and of the team).

Teams should take the time to explore:

  • What went well?
  • What did you hope to accomplish but didn’t finish?
  • What was difficult?

It’s important to make sure you take the time to talk about these things constructively and honestly.

There are many ways you could do this:

  • Within your regular meeting
  • Schedule a day-long or half-day retreat
  • Send out surveys to all team members
  • Have one-to-one meetings with team members
  • Begin plans for a more comprehensive evaluation of the team’s work or of the response in general

Regardless of how you want to collect this information, it is important that is it gathered and used to shape the upcoming work of the team. You can take what went well and build off of that success. You can look at what was difficult and develop strategies for overcoming those barriers. You can find new ways of making change, such as making changes to the team structure or by influencing systems change and improving interagency collaboration. Teams should also look to ensure they are truly meeting the needs of ALL victims/survivors in their community. But before you can move to the next phase of systems change and make these changes it is best to have the conversations with your team about the work you have done and then co-create the work moving forward.

Next week, we’ll focus on goal setting.  Meanwhile, if you have any reflections or celebrations on the work of your team last year, please share in the comments.  Celebrating is vital to team success and sustainability!