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The Evaluation Phase

The process of assessing the extent to which the Organisation Development intervention has delivered the outcomes that the organisation required is the evaluation phase.  The metrics used should have been identified and agreed prior to the intervention taking place.  The evaluation phase is essential in understanding whether there has been a ROI from the OD intervention, the effectiveness of the work done and ensuring that value has been delivered to the organisation in achieving sustainable organisational performance.

The evaluation phase seeks to answer the following questions;

  1. Did the intervention achieve the purpose and required outcomes which were identified at the beginning of the OD process?
  2. Was what was identified as desired outcomes achievable given the budget, timescale and resources committed to the intervention?
  3. Were the metrics used suitable for the OD intervention that was in place?
  4. What tracking mechanisms, methods and approaches were used in reviewing the progress of the intervention during the intervention phase?
  5. Have internal change agents been involved in gathering evaluative data, and if so, has their project ownership increased as a result?
  6. How can the evaluative process aid and reinforce the change process embarked upon?
  7. What actions are required to adjust the outcomes required or the intervention approach given the analysis of the evaluative data?
  8. What worked? Why?
  9. What does not work? Why?
  10. How does this impact future interventions going forward?
The type of evaluation data that is often valued by organisational leadership includes;
  • Cost Savings
  • Improved workforce planning
  • Retention of key talent
  • Operational effectiveness in innovation and research that maintain competitive edge
  • Profitability
  • Better Customer Service Levels
  • Delivery of organisational purpose

There are ever-present forces in every organization that tend to dampen out and reverse changes. It is vital to create ways to monitor and reinforce the planned changes until they become stabilized and part of the organization’s culture. Major organization changes tend to take years to complete and stabilize, rather than the initial few weeks or months in which the more visible changes may seem to occur.

Also, it is important for all concerned – practitioner and client system – to evaluate and learn from the actions and changes that have been made. Too often both dash on to their next projects and fail to analyze and distill learnings from the previous project. Heed Toynbee’s warning, “those who fail to learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them.”