Implementation Overview

Organizational Change Process

Implementation Team

The QIC-WD worked with the Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services (DMPCS) to establish an implementation team to lead the development and implementation of the workforce project. The implementation team was composed of representatives from Human Resources; Quality Assurance; DMCPS frontline staff, supervisors, and administrators; Department of Children and Families state office leaders, the Site Implementation Manager (SIM), and three members of the QIC-WD (representing expertise in workforce, implementation, and evaluation). 

The implementation team met monthly, face-to-face for the first year of the project. During these meetings, the SIM led the team in discussions about intervention development, implementation supports, and evaluation design. Team members also discussed events that could impact the intervention and developed solutions to implementation challenges. Once the implementation team selected ARC as the workforce intervention, the implementation team meetings were replaced with Organizational Action Team (OAT) meetings, which are a component of ARC. At the OAT meetings, the members made decisions about whether and how ARC team proposals would proceed and established unique implementation teams for each approved change initiative. 

Ultimately, the implementation team was responsible for:

  • participating in the workforce needs assessment process to better understand the range of DMCPS workforce challenges;
  • conducting root cause analyses of themes in the organizational culture and climate survey results; 
  • reviewing various organizational culture and climate interventions for potential implementation; 
  • providing guidance and feedback to the ARC liaison and QIC-WD team on the implementation of the workforce intervention;
  • encouraging staff participation in the QIC-WD evaluation activities, including focus groups and surveys; and
  • recommending the scaling of the ARC intervention and possible adaptations to the implementation process, with an eye toward not compromising fidelity. 

Preparing for Implementation

Kickoff Meeting. DMCPS held a special meeting for all staff to learn about ARC. During this meeting, the QIC-WD project goals and objectives were detailed and the ARC processes and principles were discussed. The purposes of the kickoff meeting were to (1) establish ARC as an important intervention that DMCPS was implementing to improve the organizational culture and climate, and (2) to encourage DMCPS employees to nominate themselves or their colleagues to participate in an ARC team. 

Recruiting and selecting ARC team leaders and members. In preparing for implementation, DMCPS selected a member of their leadership team to serve as the ARC liaison to manage the implementation of ARC in the agency. The ARC liaison’s role was to support and guide the ARC teams, mentor the ARC team leaders, serve as a bridge between the ARC teams and the OAT team, provide ongoing training to ARC participants, and communicate ARC-related impacts throughout the agency. After the kickoff meeting, the ARC liaison sent an email to all staff about the ARC nomination process. DMCPS sought Access and Initial Assessment workers, mentors, and supervisors to participate in ARC teams to address some challenges impacting the agency. ARC teams consisted of seven staff: five members who represented frontline staff and two supervisors/mentors who served as ARC team co-leaders. The criteria for participation included: good communication skills and relationships with peers to support ARC’s success; an open-mindedness to new ideas and processes to solve barriers to success; a willingness to keep sensitive information confidential to assure ARC long-term success for all organizational members; a mindset of going beyond identifying problems, to solving them with leaders and colleagues; and the ability to balance team membership with regular ongoing work responsibilities. 

Implementation Supports

ARC Purveyor. The ARC purveyor provided the initial training on ARC to the team members and leaders, utilizing its proprietary training curriculum and handbook. In addition, the ARC purveyor provided technical assistance and consultation services to the ARC liaison and the ARC team leaders in the implementation of the ARC process and the development of continuous quality improvement proposals.

ARC Manuals. The ARC purveyor developed comprehensive manuals for ARC team leaders, ARC members and OAT members. The ARC team member manuals include sections that cover ARC principles, a toolbox, continuous improvement, feedback, and other reference materials and forms. The ARC team leader and OAT manuals also included information on facilitating teams, applying the ARC principles, creating a psychologically safe environment, and meeting tools (e.g., brainstorming, consensus decision-making, meeting evaluations).

All-Staff Meetings. The ARC liaison and ARC team leaders presented on ARC activities to all DMCPS staff, approximately every quarter. Topics included the barriers the teams were addressing and the proposals they were submitting to the OAT. 

ARC Principles PosterARC principles materials. Given that the ARC principles are core to the intervention, in addition to being highlighted heavily in ARC materials, they were posted in ARC meeting site rooms and posted in public spaces. Formal posters designed with strong input from the ARC liaison were developed later in the ARC process to re-emphasize their importance in all work and activities.  

ARC Learning Community. The ARC learning community was established to ensure adequate support to ARC team leaders. When structuring a new ARC team, the ARC liaison assigned a mentor to the new team leaders. The new team leaders were invited to the monthly ARC learning community meetings and met with their assigned mentor on an as-needed basis to provide support and guidance. The learning community included all past and present ARC team leaders, independent of whether they served as a mentor to ARC team leaders, and the ARC liaison. This 90-minute meeting occurred once a month and was structured in a town hall format, facilitated by the ARC liaison, and/or past ARC team leaders. The purpose was to share updates, ideas, successes, and barriers and to build on relationships and foster a learning culture community. This also encouraged sustainability of ARC, by reviewing overarching ARC concepts such as psychological safety, ARC guiding principles, continuous improvement, and goal setting.