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How to Develop a Pay for Success Work Plan

Developing an effective work plan can be crucial to program management in a Pay for Success (PFS) transaction. With multiple parties and expectations to manage, work plans show all the tasks involved in a project, who is responsible for each task, expected completion dates and associated deliverables. An effective work plan will ensure accountability, and help drive the project to the ultimate goal of a successful project launch. Through LISC’s PFS work, we developed several templates to help monitor project status and ensure projects were on track to launch, including a PFS Work Plan Template and Status Report.

Our work plan is divided into seven high-level activities: 1) Outcomes & Financial Model; 2) Back-end Payor; 3) Evaluation; 4) Service Provider; 5) Legal Contracting; 6) Investor Outreach and Contracting; and 7) Program Management. Each of these high-level activities are broken down into tasks. Each task captures:

  • Is this task a key decision point?
  • Is this task associated with a final deliverable? If so, what is the final deliverable?
  • How long do we anticipate this task to take?
  • What is the status of the task? Is it on track or at risk?
  • When was the task actually completed?
  • Who is responsible for ensuring the task is completed on time?

The activities, tasks, deliverables, timeframe and owners in the excel template are meant to serve as guides as you think through your individual transaction. Each project will need to take into account its own nuances, and some tasks may take longer or shorter based on the capacity of project parties at any given time during the transaction structuring process. The work planning process should be taken on as a collaborative effort to ensure everyone is aligned on project objectives.

In addition to giving clarity of roles and responsibilities, undergoing the work planning process can help be an effective risk mitigation tool, allowing parties to think through what tasks may cause difficulties or delays in achieving the ultimate goal of project launch. Identifying and problem solving for potential risks can help project execution by allowing parties to define mitigation strategies for potential risks before they occur.

The activities and tasks associated with the work plan are then used to guide a high level project status report. This can be used to provide a snapshot of project progress to implementation. These tools can be used to help guide expectations related to the complexities associated with PFS transaction structuring, while being used as an effective communication tool to ensure all parties know and can manage to deadlines.


Download Work Plan Template 
(will open Microsoft Excel)

Download Status Report Template 
(will open PowerPoint)