The purpose of this document is to assist in establishing a framework for what a pilot means, how it should be conducted and to outline when it must be submitted for approval. Five areas have been identified where approval must be secured by the national organization before any action can be taken:
- joint fundraising efforts with LWVUS/EF,
- changes to the membership model or categories,
- efforts that affect national Per Member Payment (PMP),
- changes to items defined in/covered by the LWVUS bylaws, principles or policy, or
- efforts that expand or run contrary to the LWV mission or brand.
Proposals will be reviewed and analyzed by LWVUS staff and approval will be based on the clarity of the application, feasibility of the proposal and any financial impact brought on by the proposal. Any proposal that raises governance issues and/or significant financial risk will be presented to the Board for review and approval.
What is a Pilot Program?
A pilot program, also called a feasibility study or experimental trial, is a small-scale, short-term experiment that helps an organization learn how a large-scale project might work in practice.
A good pilot program provides a platform for the organization to test logistics, prove value and reveal deficiencies before spending a significant amount of time, energy or money on a large-scale project. Typically, a pilot program begins with a proposal that lists the objectives of the pilot program and documents how the program will be carried out. The documentation should also provide a time-line for the pilot and metrics for how success will be determined. - (Rouse, Pilot Program, 2013)
This definition provides a structure that LWV can use to inform the process for pilot development and approval. It highlights that not all programs, trials or changes that LWV will make should be categorized as pilot programs.
The proposal should be able to clearly define:
- What is the problem the pilot is trying to solve? The proposal must be able to clearly and concisely define and substantiate the problem to be solved, layout the objective(s) of the pilot and what outcome(s) it hopes to achieve.
- Strategies and resources. The proposal must be able to describe the strategies and tactics that will be implemented to solve the problem, the resources that will be necessary to properly carry out the proposal and articulate how these will help to achieve the objective(s) of the pilot.
- Measurable outcomes and success metrics. The proposal must outline specific metrics that will be used to draw conclusions about the relative success of any pilot. It should clearly identify why they were chosen and how they can be used to ascertain whether the defined objective(s) of the pilot have been met.
- The scope and timeframe of the pilot. The proposal should highlight why the suggested scope and timeframe are believed to be suitable for providing statistically significant information that can be used to determine whether a pilot should be expanded or not.
- What kinds of data will be collected. The proposal must define specific kinds of data that will be collected during the pilot. It should highlight how that data will be collected and at what intervals it will be reported.
To facilitate this proposal development process, LWVUS has created a standardized form that all proposals must be submitted on to be considered.
LWV does not currently have a standard platform intended for reporting on the results of pilot programs. Reporting platforms are likely to be a combination of Salesforce, SurveryGizmo and email, based on appropriateness for the proposed program. Intervals of reporting and what will be reported will be based on what has been approved. A failure to comply with the reporting guidelines as established in the proposal may result in suspension of approval of the Pilot Program until reporting compliance is resumed.
The results and analysis of the pilot program will be reported to the national organization following the completion of the defined timeframe. Depending on the results, a decision may be made about developing a broader scalable program at that time or a later date.