Applying Lessons Learned From Evaluating a Quality Report
What Have You Learned?
Consider the implications of your evaluation for each aspect you were able to assess. For example, do you need to:
- Improve relationships with partners or stakeholders?
- Cultivate additional partners?
- Rethink who is really the audience for the report?
- Broaden or narrow the scope of the report? Expand or reduce the number of measures? The amount of data?
- Change the way you display information?
- Revise the explanatory or motivational content to make it easier to understand?
- Explore alternative methods or channels for distributing the information?
- Implement new strategies for promoting awareness and use of the report?
What Would You Recommend?
A report on the findings of your evaluation will gather dust unless it is actionable. Just as you shouldn’t assume that consumers will know how to use quality ratings, you shouldn’t assume that your internal or external audiences will know exactly how to apply your evaluation findings.
This means you have to provide not only conclusions, but also recommendations that specify who will do what by when. In some cases, rather than making a single set of recommendations, it is helpful to offer optional ways to respond to the results with what you see as the advantages and disadvantages of those options and let the leaders of your effort take the next steps. Many evaluators meet with those to whom they are making recommendations so that they can either craft the recommendations collaboratively or make sure they are understood and feasible to implement.
The findings from your evaluation could point to minor tweaks in what you have been doing—or lead you to determine that you need to make fundamental changes in direction to justify the continued expenditure of resources.