The most exciting thing about impact evaluation is when people realise that the results of the evaluation will not only help secure an award or two, they will probably help secure future budget or maybe even jobs.
Investment decisions in recent years are more likely than ever to require evidence of prudent spending, real innovation (not imitation) and value for money. These are also common themes in awards judging criteria and where our experience is proving of increasing value to our clients.
If you have just completed, or are about to embark on, a new strategy or major project, then we can help: We have measured the impact of over two hundred projects and strategies and have a plethora of evaluation techniques that we would be delighted to implement to help you measure the success of your initiative.
Most projects are easy to evaluate from one perspective but a proper evaluation should explore multiple stakeholder perspectives. For example:
- A corporate social responsibility initiative might deliver clear benefits to the community and/or the environment but if you cannot prove a positive business return, then the initiative is not sustainable in every sense.
- A sales training programme is likely to have increased sales but unless you can prove that the new practices are not annoying customers, then your evaluation might fail to report a ticking time bomb of alienated customers.
- Investing in improved customer service is too often shunned as a nice-to-have drain on profits, partly because improvement initiatives focus on narrow customer satisfaction scores. What if you could show a positive net impact on profit? Then next year's budget would be as good as guaranteed.
- Investing in staff development clearly improves skills levels, and you might even be able to prove that behaviours have changed, but unless you can make the link between these skills improvements and strategic organisational objectives, then these outcomes are meaningless and unlikely to secure future funding. For this reason all our evaluations explore multiple perspectives.
Low level evaluation involves measuring first impressions. High level evaluation involves assessing strategic impact on the business goals and the needs of its stakeholders, and there are a host of levels in between the two.
A good evaluation covers as many levels as possible, and goes as high as possible. Single levels can be skipped, but if you go straight from low level to high level then any board member or awards judge will be required to make a difficult leap of faith, that we cannot guarantee they will agree with.
High level evaluation often takes clients out of their comfort zone, but invariably results in tremendous pride when they see the fruits of their labour this way.
How we can help
Before a project begins:
- Running focus groups to ensure you know what success will look like for each stakeholder group.
- Helping you articulate the right objectives (not just lists of deliverables or strategies).
- Helping you agree your measures of success and how you will measure them.
During and after a project:
- Designing and implementing stakeholder surveys that go beyond assessing opinion, and can be used to quantify real impact.
- Ensuring people measure what they say they will measure.
- Analysing data, and plotting the "killer" graphs that clearly illustrate your impact.
- Calculating return on investment.
To find out more please contact us.
Our award entry service - if your results are outstanding then we can help.
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