Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen some back and forth on the topic of evaluation and the merits of ROI. Jack Phillips and Jim Kirkpatrick have weighed in, arguing in favor of their respective models, but I still see a lot of common ground, particularly when it comes to the importance of evaluation and the criticality of beginning early. Unfortunately, most organizations still struggle with doing any sort of evaluation—so important details like the methodology can seem idealistic if not a little academic to many. With most of our clients, the biggest issue is time. Everyone wants to make an impact and wants their contributions to be visible and genuine. But, we’re always already late in starting and the work of setting up some sort of evaluation framework feels like just one more best practice to be sacrificed on the altar of expediency. So how do we scale? How can make evaluation practical enough that we can build it into our culture and repeat it so that we have valuable benchmarks?
As a vendor partner, we’re often brought in after some of the key decisions have been made, but we still want to bring visible, genuine impact. You might be familiar with our ANSWER analysis model (and our DesignJot ipad app). Right now, we’re working on a complimentary rapid analysis model/tool that will focus specifically on identifying the potential impact of a performance support initiative. We’re distilling our 30+ years of experience in analysis and upfront design into a practical, deadline-aware approach to performance analysis. One of the first deliverables of this analysis is the Impact Brief, which does the following:
- Starts with business goals
- Sets targets for human performance
- Assesses potential risks
- Aligns performance objectives to business needs
If we can identify the right targets and the specific performance metrics to help an organization hit its business goals, then we can posit a value for the initiative and a plan for measuring that value. But we’re not just interested in how these metrics will be measured—we’re interested in the entire lifecycle and how we can best design a sustainable system of evaluation that will give us actionable analytics.
OK, so here’s the call to action: Can you share your success in practical, timely measurement and evaluation? When has it worked well and what were the root causes for that success?
Might you be interested in piloting our new and improved Impact Brief?