Creating an Implementation Plan

What is an implementation plan?

The key to a successful PBS plan is being able to work effectively as a team. Team-based PBS planning allows team members to share responsibilities thereby reducing the amount of time any one person spends implementing the PBS plan. However, when more than one person is involved in a project, a management strategy is needed to ensure effective communication. One way to organize the team activities is by using an implementation plan. A written PBS plan describes what interventions will be implemented while the implementation plan records the actions needed and who will be responsible for each task.

When is an implementation plan used?

The implementation plan begins with the functional behavioral assessment. The implementation plan can become a guideline for the meeting minutes with each step needed to accomplish PBS planning tasks. In addition to the functional behavioral assessment, the implementation plan will document all major activities including the brainstorming meeting, PBS plan development, and evaluation activities. The team reviews the implementation plan at every meeting with new tasks documented as progress is made. PBS implementation planning meetings will vary but often take place on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

How is the implementation plan conducted?

The implementation plan is conducted by scheduling regular team meeting times to coordinate ongoing PBS efforts. An implementation plan describes how each element of the PBS plan will be put in place, identifies the sequence in which each intervention will be implemented, and creates a timeline with the roles and responsibilities for each person involved. For instance, teaching a student with severe disabilities a new communication response to replace problem behavior may require a number of tasks be completed before the intervention can be implemented. In this case, the plan should include the names of individuals responsible for obtaining the materials or equipment needed for the child's communication system, and how the resources will be acquired. 

The implementation plan will include the following:

  1. A timeline for interventions (which interventions are implemented first, second, etc.),
  2. Documentation of agreed upon meeting dates,
  3. Identification of the individuals responsible for implementing interventions,
  4. A list of people who will be completing the steps necessary for implementing the interventions with dates indicating when the task will be finished (obtaining materials for picture schedules, developing training materials, collecting data, etc.),
  5. Names of individuals who will take the lead in training parents or staff members (if needed),
  6. Dates of team training sessions (training may include specific issues related to functional behavioral assessment, implementing interventions, or how to collaborate effectively), and
  7. Information about how the PBS plan will be evaluated.

The implementation plan also includes the design and development of ongoing data collection. The data collected on the frequency of adaptive and problematic behaviors, both as a baseline comparison and during the PBS plan implementation, will be organized using an implementation plan. Each direct observation strategy should be listed in the implementation plan with the names of the individuals responsible for collecting and summarizing the data. Measures may include partial interval recording, frequency of behavior, or the antecedents, behaviors, and consequences occurring during a specific number of sessions. 

Data Collection Issues Considered in Implementation Planning

  1. Include each measure that will be used and who will collect it
  2. Decide carefully what and how data will be collected
  3. Ensure that the data collection strategies are efficient for long-term utilization
  4. Identify individuals who will obtain the data

Each implementation plan may look different depending upon the complexity of the interventions that are planned and the unique needs of the student. However, the implementation planning process is similar regardless of the differences in each PBS planning process.


Horner, R. H., Albin, R. W., Sprague, J. R., & Todd, A. (2000).
Positive behavior support. In M. E. Snell & F. 
Brown (Eds.), Instruction of students with severe
disabilities (pp. 207-243). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.