Step-by-step guide to building your logic model

There is no 'right way' to develop a logic model, and you can start anywhere in the process. However, this page provides a guideline.

Starting tips

  • Sticky notes on a whiteboard are helpful, as they allow you to move things around and write around the model as you build it.
  • If you are developing a logic model for an existing project, try starting with the activities and inputs, in the middle of the model.
  • If you are building a logic model for something in the design stage, try starting with needs and outcomes at the two ends of the model, and then look at what activities will be most effective and what inputs will be required.

Developing a logic model for an existing project in a school context

What you will need

  • the evaluation team leader and team members
  • approximately two hours
  • a blank sheet of butchers paper
  • a big table to work on, or a wall
  • sticky notes of four different colours
  • pens/markers
  • a computer with sound, so you can watch the video of the Robotics logic model demonstration

Eight steps to work through as a team

Step 1: Note the project’s activities

Step 2: Note the inputs

Step 3: Note the intended outcomes

Step 4: Reorder into cause and effect chain

Step 5: Note the needs

Step 6: Troubleshoot your model

Step 7: Write down any assumptions

Step 8: Tidy up your model

The eight steps are followed in this demonstration video, which shows a school executive developing a logic model for their Stage 2 robotics program.

The eight steps in more detail

Step 1: Note the project's objectives

  • Think about the activities involved in your project.
  • Write down each activity on a separate sticky note using one colour only.
  • Space these notes out vertically down the middle of a landscape sheet of butchers paper.

Step 2: Note the resources used

  • Write the inputs (resources) used in each of the activities, such as funds, time, space, training, release, class time.
  • Write each input on its own sticky note.
  • Place the sticky notes to the left of the corresponding activity.

Step 3: Note the intended outcomes

  • Think about the intended outcomes for each of the activities.
  • Write each outcome on its own sticky note. Use a different colour from the inputs and activities.
  • Place these sticky notes directly to the right of the corresponding activity or input.

Step 4: Reorder into cause and effect chain

  • Think about the interaction between different activities, inputs and outcomes.
  • Consider which comes first, which are dependent on others, where there are feedback loops and so on.
  • Reorder the sticky notes to show the order of events with a flow from left to right.
  • You may find you need to split some sticky notes and add some new ones.

Step 5: Note the needs

  • Think about why you started this project.
  • Consider each of the activities individually and write down what need was being addressed or what problem you were trying to solve.
  • What was driving the approach in choosing the activities?
  • Write each of the needs on a sticky note of a fourth colour.
  • Place these sticky notes on the left most side.

Step 6: Troubleshoot your model

In this process, reorder, add and change words if necessary.
Focus on the following three aspects:
  1. Look at the needs: What else is being done, if anything, that specifically targets these needs? How does this set of activities relate to that other work?
    Why do this? To identify points of interaction between different initiatives that share similar objectives.
  2. Look at the link between the needs and outcomes: Are the two sides of the model ‘symmetrical’ or are there needs that aren’t being addressed?
    Why do this? To test whether the project has been distracted from its original goals, and is now working to achieve outcomes that don’t reflect the reasons for going down this path.
  3. Are there any missing links between our activities and the intended outcomes? How plausible is the chain of cause and effect? Are there any ‘miracle moments’ or leaps of logic?
    Why do this? To help identify assumptions, as well as possible enablers and barriers that might influence capacity to achieve outcomes. You can then look for these in the evaluation.

Step 7: Write down any assumptions

  • As you troubleshoot your model, write down any assumptions that you made when you originally planned the project you are going to evaluate.
  • Particularly, try to identify assumptions that the project relies on and points where, if an assumption doesn’t hold true, the activities might lead to nil or negative outcomes.
  • For each assumption, write a number on the sticky note (or arrow) that it relates to.
  • Write the assumption on the bottom or side of the butchers paper.

Step 8: Tidy up your model

  • Re-write sticky notes that have become too crowded or messy.
  • Lay it out as best you can with a logical flow from left to right.
  • Draw arrows on the paper or whiteboard, showing the flow of cause and effect.
  • Take a photo of your model.
  • To create a digital version of your model that you can edit, use PowerPoint or another program designed for laying out diagrams.


  • Professional learning
  • Teaching and learning


  • Building capacity

Business Unit:

  • Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation
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