Roadmap for State Program Planning: Develop Plans

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Develop a HDSP Work Plan

The Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (HDSP) Work Plan provides a step-by-step process to achieve the goals and objectives that are outlined in the State HDSP Plan.

The HDSP Work Plan should include the what, who, and when for the program objectives and associated activities and be designed to build incrementally from one activity to another.

What to Do

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2007 Program Announcement [PDF–1M] suggests that all state Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention programs receiving CDC HDSP funds enter their work plans into the HDSP Management Information System (MIS). [Note: States that are not funded will not be able to access the MIS.] The Work Plan should outline the program’s plans for—

  • Addressing each of the Required Activities.
  • Providing objectives that describe who is responsible, date of completion, and what milestones or product will be produced.
  • Describing the population that will be reached.
  • Proposing methods, including partnerships, collaborations, and policy and systems change, for achieving the objectives.
  • Describing partner and collaborators and their roles in the project.

Funded states are also required to submit their HDSP Work Plan to CDC on an annual basis. Remember, the HDSP Work Plan is a living document and may change as—

  • Program implementation proceeds.
  • Activities are completed, added, deleted, or expanded.
  • Personnel, partners, and resources change.

Therefore, it is important to update changes to the HDSP Work Plan in MIS regularly.

How to Do It

Several of the steps for building a Work Plan are similar to those used for building the State HDSP Plan. The basic steps include—

  • Identifying overall objectives for each recipient activity as listed in the 2007 Program Announcement [PDF–1M] .
  • Summarizing resource needs and availability as well as partner roles.
  • Determining the steps needed to achieve each objective, including an appropriate sequence and priority.
  • Developing a list of activities to support accomplishing the objectives.
  • Drawing up a timeline for achieving the work plan activities and objectives.
  • Establishing and documenting how progress toward your objectives will be tracked and reported.
  • Reviewing all projected objectives and activities to ensure the work plan as a whole is achievable.

Identifying Program Objectives

One of the biggest challenges in developing an HDSP Work Plan is identifying appropriate program priorities. To assist with setting program priorities, programs should review information such as their State HDSP Plans, heart disease and stroke burden data, and CDC priority areas. Programs should also consider the resources that are available (e.g., funding, in-kind support from partners, public interest) to assist with implementing the program priorities.

Next, incorporate the activities and interventions into a comprehensive Work Plan. The end goal is a complete list of objectives with consolidated and sequenced supporting activities and interventions. This involves making decisions for each supporting activity regarding who is responsible, by what date, and what product or milestone will be achieved. It may be helpful to create a table similar to the one below.

Objective 1

Objective 1
Activity # Description Responsible Staff Timetable Milestone or Product Partners

This chart can be as detailed as you want to make it. The more detail that is provided, the easier it will be to monitor implementation and the more likely your implementation will be successful.


When developing the timetable, a Gantt chart [PDF–25K] may be helpful. The Gantt chart is a project-planning tool that displays the duration of all activities in a simple table format. Such a chart has several functions, including—

  • Identifying activities that are to be carried out concurrently.
  • Identifying how long an activity should take or how long that activity should be in place.
  • Indicating milestones (important checkpoints) and allowing progress towards those milestones to be monitored.
  • Detecting interdependencies among activities and ensuring the sequence of activities reflects the need for some activities to be completed prior to completing others.
  • Providing an overview of the entire scope of work and ensuring it is doable.

Organizing activities in a Gantt chart [PDF–25K] prior to implementation helps to validate or identify inadequacies in staff assignments, resources, or the sequencing of activities. During the project, using the chart also makes it easy to monitor program progress and to anticipate bottlenecks.

Work Plan Budget

The costs associated with implementing activities and interventions varies widely. However, the general guidance links below may help programs develop their budgets.

CDC budget regulations for states receiving CDC funding can be found at—

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