Wednesday, 16 September 2015

85. Driver diagrams



Driver diagrams are logic charts with three or four levels.  They are a neat way to capture the links between strategy and action.  They provide a one-side-of-A4 description of what you are trying to do and how you are planning to do it.  They also show how different services contribute to broad outcomes and how all these contributions link together.  Driver diagrams are now at the heart of our One Swansea Plan (the overarching strategy for the area).  We rather like them so I thought I would share.

We got the idea of using driver diagrams from health, specifically our local public health team who use them in the Public Health Strategic Framework.  The idea of including them in the One Swansea Plan then came ‘bottom up’ from various partnership and policy coordinators who saw the approach and really wanted to use it.

In our plan we have six population outcomes – conditions that we want to achieve – for example Children have a good start in life or People learn successfully.

For each of the population outcomes we have produced a driver diagram that includes:

  • The Population Outcome 
  • Primary drivers that describe what needs to be in place for the outcome to happen
  • Secondary drivers that describe the most important things that we need to do to achieve the primary drivers 
  • Key Indicators to help track progress

For example, for the Population Outcome ‘Children have a good start in life’, a primary driver is ‘Babies are born healthy’ and a secondary driver that contributes to this is ‘Improve the health and safety of pregnant women’.

This example could also be written like this:
Children have a good start in life when babies are born healthy so we need to improve the health and safety of pregnant women.
While not included in our current plan, each diagram can also include tertiary drivers; a fourth column that covers the services, projects and other activities that contribute to the secondary drivers.  We will be adding these as we develop the driver diagrams further.

Each diagram has been developed through our Multi Agency Research Group by subject experts and through wider consultation.  In June 2015 we held a workshop to refine the diagrams.  We know that the diagrams will not be perfect and we intend to update and improve them every year as part of updating the plan.  

Our strategic partnership (Swansea Local Service Board) will use the driver diagrams to set their priorities for each year.  If you are working in Wales then you might like to know that this approach is entirely compatible with the Well-being of Future Generations Act and that the secondary drivers can be used as well-being objectives.

Looking forward we will continue to develop the approach. The one area that we definitely need to explore is how the driver diagrams can be used to get the public more involved with the strategy.

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