Design and Planning Information

The design and planning phase is one of the most important components of a mentoring program. This phase will help you to determine the approach and processes that will be used.
A design and planning phase generally consists of 6 key steps.
1.  Establish the Objectives
  • Why are we doing this?
  • Is the organisation ready for a mentoring program?
  • Are the objectives realistic & achievable?
  • Do we have the finances available to support the program?
  • Is the mentoring program part of a wider organisational development initiative?
2.  Identify and Profile Potential Mentees
  • Do we have sufficient mentees?
  • Are we aiming for a particular level of participants?
  • Why would the mentees be interested in participating?
  • Do the mentee's objectives match the program's objectives
3.  Identify and Profile Potential Mentors
  • Do we have sufficient mentors?
  • Do the mentors have the right skills, knowledge and attitude required of them?
  • Why would the mentors be interested in participating in the program?
4.  Design the Process, Timelines and Procedures
  • Establish clear guidelines and 'rules of engagement' for all participants in the program
  • Design an appropriate 'matching' process
  • Establish a timeline
  • Establish roles, responsibilities and accountabilities, and ensure these are well communicated
  • Ensure administrative support is appropriate and well communicated
5.  Implement and Monitor Progress
  • Establish milestones or check points along the way
  • Ensure ongoing communication channels with participants are established
  • Ensure processes are established for relationships that fail
6.  Evaluate Program
  • Ensure evaluation processes are established at commencement of program and well communicated to those involved
  • Check evaluation processes still appropriate
  • Use feedback to improve and fine tune future programs
Matching Mentors with Mentees
There are a number of approaches you could use to 'match' mentors  & mentees:
  • Allow mentees to choose their mentors, based on meeting them at a launch or information session
  • Send mentors' profiles to mentees and ask them to rank them, or choose their top 3
  • A panel or organising committee to match mentors and mentees based on mentee's objectives for the program and 'profiling' information provided by mentors (see profiling tool)
  • A panel or organising committee to match mentor and mentees based on  selection criteria put forward by mentee "i.e. what I want from a mentor"
  • Someone (organiser) who knows all the mentees/ mentors to match them based on 'personality fit'