ImpleMap: Exploring the Implementation Landscape

Resource Type: Planning Tools
Author: NIRN
Date: March, 2013

When creating implementation capacity in an organization new to active implementation, the first task is to map the current implementation landscape. The ImpleMap interview process assists implementation specialists in collecting information to inform active implementation planning and development in the organization.

Resource File(s):

ImpleMap Interview Video Examples

ImpleMap Segment 1 (9 min. 29 sec.)

This segment demonstrates the inquiry process related to the “what” – we want to learn which interventions, programs, frameworks, or practices they are purposefully attempting to implement well.  And we want to know on what basis they selected them.  In particular, we are finding out if there is a purposeful vetting process for determining the characteristics of programs that they are willing to “invest in” and what the dimensions of that vetting process might be.  Our work at asks leadership and implementation teams to consider the conditions under which a particular innovation is supported (e.g. need, evidence, readiness for implementation, capacity to implement, fit, resources).

ImpleMap Segment 2 (9 min. 59 sec.)

As the two or three interventions are identified and more is known about the vetting process and how it occurs, we want to understand “who” is involved.  This will inform our future work with them related to membership and activities of Leadership and Implementation Teams.  This segment also demonstrates how to check in on process and how to make summative statements before moving on.  The end of the segment demonstrates a discussion on how to arrive at the one or two interventions they want to focus on.  This is the pre-work to engaging in a reflective and guided discussion about the Implementation Drivers.

ImpleMap Segment 3 (9 min. 29 min.)

This segment is a discussion about the Drivers, starting with selection.  Notice how the interviewer followed the group as they clearly were focused on “units” and not practitioners.  This still produced useful information (recast as Stages) about how they think about implementation.  Notice that because they focused on “units” rather than practitioners, this was a good opportunity to offer some information about the Exploration and Installation Stages of implementation.

ImpleMap Segment 4 (9 min. 44 sec.)

After identifying target interventions and the vetting process, the questions shift to how they operationalize interventions and use the Drivers to prepare practitioners. Notice that the interviewer finds opportunities based on what the participants are saying to weave in information about any driver that they mention.  Of course, they will not label it as a driver or use implementation-informed language.  But these are great opportunities to recognize their current thoughtful approaches and begin to introduce new language.

ImpleMap Segment 5

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This segment demonstrated asking questions, in a conversational style, about current practices related to supervision, coaching, and performance assessments.  The vocal members of this group are very smart and conceptual.  In this segment the interviewer asks questions to get at the details without pushing too hard.

ImpleMap Segment 6 (9 min. 59 sec.)

This segment focuses primarily on coaching and performance assessments and loops back to talking about preparation (e.g. selection, training) of coaches and supervisors.  Notice that even though the interviewer is trying to get more specific information about the Drivers, he continues to look for opportunities to capture more information about earlier topics (vetting, operationalizing).

ImpleMap Segment 7 (4 min.)

This particular example of ImpleMapping involves a group that discusses the intervention and implementation processes at a more conceptual level.   Notice the interviewer’s attempt to “drill down” by asking specific questions to elicit more detail.  Also notice that it is important not to “interrogate” people or make them uncomfortable once you are relatively sure that a process, intervention, Stage, or Driver is not yet operationalized or perhaps not known in sufficient detail by the group you are interviewing.  There will be many more opportunities in the future.  The ImpleMap interview is just the beginning of a long process of implementation infrastructure development.