Getting to Work

Getting to Work—The 15 Factors presents 15 sections—one for each of the “contributing factors for success” identified above in Figure 1. The section takes you through considerations and questions designed to prompt you to explore each of the factors as they relate to your particular goal. Each section is organized as follows:

  • Overview—definitions and relevant information about the factor and what you can expect to achieve by completing the analysis in each section.
  • Suggestions and Instructions—a series of considerations, questions, and instructions for completing your analysis of each factor.
  • Worksheet—a figure or table you can use to document your information and thinking on each factor.
  • Wrap-Up—a place to record summary notes and a preliminary rating of your effort’s capacity for each factor.

As you work on the factor sections, you will find that you will not want to consider each factor in isolation. Rather, your analysis of each factor will have an impact on other factors. For example, your assessment of your effort’s access (or lack thereof ) to money and in-kind resources might prompt you to reconsider whom to include in your actor group. When you bring these analyses together, you will be able to craft a strategy that will help you identify (and prioritize) the additional capacity you need to accomplish your goal.

To support your examination of the relationships among the factors, the workbook features a special section, INTEGRATING THE FACTORS: The “Dynamic Core.” This section asks you to consider the interactions between factors associated with the agenda and the actor group. The Dynamic Core integrates the what (the purpose or goal) of your effort with the who (the people who will work to achieve the goal). The exercise helps you analyze your Dynamic Core factors and consider the implications of your analysis for other factors and for the overall effort.


Factor #1: Agenda Framing: Clarifying Your Vision, Goals, and Priorities
Factor #2: Agenda Assessment: Weighing Support for and Opposition to Your Agenda
Factor #3: Comprehension of the Agenda: Assessing How Much People Know About Your Goals and Issues

Actor Group

Factor #4: Actor Group Composition: Deciding Who Will Be at the Table
Factor #5: Leadership Roles: Identifying Who Does What … and When
Factor #6: Actor Group Commitment: Assessing People’s Passion and Sense of Purpose

Inetegrating the  Factors: The “Dynamic Core”


Internal Capacity

Factor #7: Money and Related Resources: Developing a Budget of Financial, In-Kind Needs
Factor #8: Information and Expertise: Gaining the Knowledge You Need to Succeed
Factor #9: Authority and Legitimacy: Assessing the Actor Group’s Standing in the Region

External Capacity

Factor #10: Connectedness Inside the Region: Assessing the Group’s Regional Links
Factor #11: Connectedness Outside the Region: Assessing the Group’s External Links
Factor #12: State-Level Influence: Securing Help from State Government
Factor #13: Federal-Level Influence: Securing Help from the Federal Government

Implementation Experience

Factor #14: Overall Region-Scale Activity: Weighing the History of Collaborative Problem-Solving in Your Area
Factor #15: Region-Scale Activity on Goal: Learning from Previous Efforts Like Yours