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The logic model: more than a planning tool

Claire Hamasu (Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)
Elizabeth Kelly (Washington University, St Louis, Missouri, USA)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 10 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe how the logic model can provide infrastructure for library programming from planning, tracking accomplishments, identifying where adjustments are required, to reporting outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, MidContinental Region has used the logic model since 2003 for planning and organizing its work. Its geographically dispersed librarians carry out six project initiatives. The logic model is used during planning to establish consensus on expectations and responsibilities. An online reporting tool, developed in 2004, tracks staff activities to the logic model. Quarterly reports for each project uses reporting tool data to determine whether the project is going along as planned or whether an intervention is required. At the end of the year, a final report assesses the achievement outcomes and indicators.

Findings

Writing a logic model is a study in semantics. It is important to be as specific as possible. Accurately defining terms saves puzzlement down the line on whether an activity was carried out as planned or an indicator was met. Measurable targets for each indicator encourage staff to continuously evaluate their activities and adjust their work to achieve the desired results. Writing realistic indicators is a process that improves with practice. Early in the program enthusiasm and the optimism of the librarian staff led to the indicators that were unrealistic within a one year timeframe.

Practical implications

The logic model accommodates the unforeseeable and helps evaluate whether an activity is worth doing. It is impossible to identify all future opportunities. The logic model runs from the visionary (goals) to the ordinary (activities). When the unexpected arises it can be evaluated on how closely it addresses goals and outcomes and can be tied to that goal or outcome when reporting. The integration of the logic model into the program is made more efficient with an online report system. Having a system that links staff work to the logic model facilitates analysis, decision making, and reporting.

Originality/value

The logic model is generally touted as a planning tool. This paper expands the use of the logic model as a tool for planning, tracking, and reporting.

Keywords

Citation

Hamasu, C. and Kelly, E. (2017), "The logic model: more than a planning tool", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 158-164. https://doi.org/10.1108/PMM-08-2017-0032

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © Published 2017