Logic Models are a popular tool that can be used to help conceptualize your change effort. It does this by inviting the author(s) to articulate their understanding of the current situation, the changes they hope to bring about through their program effort, with and/for whom, the activities planned to contribute toward this change, the resources needed to put into the effort, assumptions they are making, and external factors that could influence results.
When to use a logic model in the workplace
Here’s when and how you might use a logic model in a project:
In the planning stage
The planning stage is an excellent time to think through anticipated timelines, necessary personnel, job duties, funding sources and resource allocation. The logic model can help you identify when and how you can partner with other organizations to better reach your goals. Using a logic model in the planning stage allows you to look for any planning gaps and make the process more efficient.
Your logic model is useful in the implementation phase of a project because it provides an outline for expectations. You can use the logic model to keep an ongoing inventory of resources and to monitor the projects metrics for success.
Example: A wellness advocacy group outlines in a logic model a list of education initiatives and their expected results before starting a new healthy diet project. Partway through implementation, the group sends out a survey to the participants to gauge their lifestyle changes and finds out they’re not meeting their expected target of increasing vegetable intake. With this knowledge, the group refocuses some of their efforts to meet this newly discovered target.
When describing the program to interested parties
As a straightforward overview of your program, the logic model is a useful reference point for staff, partners, investors or other stakeholders. You can use the model to describe the program and justify your decisions along the way. By having an overall picture of the project, you can show each person when and how they will participate. You can also use the logic model to show others when you will collect your metrics for success and what those metrics are.
When analyzing previous projects
After completing the project, you can reflect on its outcomes using your logic model. This is a way to document evidence of the projects efficacy and utility.
Example: An elementary school administrator uses a logic model to create a student literacy program. After a year of running the program, the administrator compares the original logic model and expected outcomes to the actual results.
The results reveal that younger students showed the most improvement in their reading skills over the course of the program, while the skills of older students didnt improve much. This information assists the administrator in preserving the program for younger students and in developing a different program for older students.
During ongoing projects
A logic model can be useful even if you do not create it during the projects planning stage. A logic model can guide adjustments to an existing program if you encounter unintended effects.
Example: A bakery launches a promotional program intended to boost sales by increasing foot traffic before noon. As a result, this overwhelms available seating and upsets regular customers. The bakery creates a logic model at this point, which allows it to think through potential solutions in the middle of the promotion that also now factor in the bakery’s regulars. Possible solutions include expanding the seating area or extending the promotional time period past noon.
What is a logic model?
A logic model is a statement, often in picture form, of the steps needed to solve a problem or complete a program. Logic models are sometimes called program models, mental models, road maps, blueprints or causal chains. Although they do not have to be strictly linear, logic models demonstrate how and why a project will achieve the desired outcome.
The main components of a logic model are inputs (resources), activities, outputs (results from activities) and outcomes. Logic models visually cover the following information:
Benefits of a logic model
The following are ways in which logic models can be beneficial:
Tips for using a logic model effectively
Here are six tips for effective use of logic models:
1. Provide enough detail, but only as much as is necessary. Try to include only the most essential information so your model is easy to understand.
2. Consider making nested models. If you find that your model is becoming too complicated, consider making multiple smaller models. You can fit these models inside one another or arrange them in a sequence.
3. Be willing to modify your logic model. By adapting your model following feedback and new data, you will make it continuously more useful.
4. Remember that a logic model is a simplified representation of a complex system. There may be times where outside influences or unexpected events require you to be flexible when carrying out the project. If you adhere tightly to your logic models bounds, you might miss an opportunity for a creative adaptation.
5. Ask other people to help you refine your model. You can ask others for input on various drafts of your model. Others may note relationships or logical gaps that you missed.
6. Look at the model from both directions. If youre unsure of how to start a project, you can also begin your logic model with your desired outcomes and brainstorm actions that can produce those results.
What are the five elements of a logic model?
- Step 1: Identify the Problem. …
- Step 2: Determine the Key Program Inputs. …
- Step 3: Determine Key Program Outputs. …
- Step 4: Identify Program Outcomes. …
- Step 5: Create a Logic Model Outline. …
- Step 6: Identify External Influencing Factors. …
- Step 7: Identify Program Indicators.
What is a logical model used for?