Performance and evaluation
Much is, and has been, written about these two words. The simplest ‘performance improvement’ model and the basis for almost all, much more complicated systems, is that put forward by Edward Deming: ‘the quality cycle’.
The quality cycle
- Step 1: Plan
- Step 2: Do
- Step 3: Check
- Step 4: Act
We really like it – it’s simple and straightforward:
- Plan to do something
- Do it
- Check how it went
- and Act on the information you got in the checking
All this seems very simple but in the hurly-burly of the modern world, it can be easy to overlook some or all of this process. However, it’s a false economy not ensure you have the ‘cycle’ in place in your organisation – without it, you can’t be sure that the resources that you have, are being best applied to achieve the most important things; you can’t be sure that there aren’t easier ways to have achieved it; you might not even be sure of what exactly you have achieved.
We have often met people who say they don’t have the time to write the plan: they are too busy. They don’t have time to put in place the Check (measures): they are too busy Doing. Or, they have the Check in place but they don’t have time (or the knowledge) to Act on the information.
Our simple response to these is:
- Without the plan (however simple) you don’t know that what you are busy doing, is/ are the most important things
- If you’re not checking, you have no information on whether what you are doing is making any difference
- If you’re not Acting on the information, you won’t ever work smarter or more sustainably
The cycle doesn’t need to be complicated – it just needs to be fit for purpose – to suit your organisation and staff.
We can help you to put in place simple plans, checks and reviews.
We can help you to be clear about the various pieces of jargon, e.g.: inputs; outputs; outcomes; performance indicators; turnover; profit; efficiency; effectiveness; value for money.
We have a long and varied experience in helping individuals and organisations to review performance; to put in place monitoring systems and evaluation sessions. We can also help with analysing existing data to help you learn from the information you already have available.
We have substantial experience of designing and running focus groups and of creating questionnaires to gather feedback from customers and stakeholders. We then analyse the data, providing both verbatim and synthesised feedback reports for clients. As an independent organisation we can ensure anonymity for those providing feedback, which helps to ensure real/honest responses. Our reports will normally provide clear suggestions for action, based on the feedback.
Contact us if you would like to know more about how we could help you to work better.
Examples of previous / ongoing work
- Development of innovative, simple outcome measures/ system for cultural integration organisation
- Establishing outcome measures for young peoples’ projects
- Establishing performance indicators (measures) for sports development projects
- Dissertation on the use and abuse of performance indicators
- 11 years evaluating project outcomes and project reports at a national funding agency.