The process of planning, designing and implementing an AIM effort can be broken down into a series of six major steps which are described throughout this website:
The AIM monitoring implementation framework breaks the development and implementation of monitoring down into a series of achievable, iterative and documentable steps. These steps include: developing management and monitoring objectives; defining the monitoring area, stratification approach, and reporting requirements; selecting indicators and methods; developing data management and quality assurance/control procedures; establishing monitoring locations and collecting and evaluating monitoring data; and analyzing and interpreting monitoring results.
This framework places an emphasis on designing and implementing robust monitoring programs. While coordinated monitoring across scales is not always possible, the basic AIM principles (standardized core indicators and methods, statistically-valid sample designs, effective data management, and thorough documentation of the monitoring process) facilitate the use of monitoring data to answer the original objectives and allow for merging of monitoring data between efforts to meet additional objectives.