AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators



IC TIG Week: Amy Germuth on Evaluating Your Own Consulting Practice

Hi, I am Amy Germuth, President and Founder of EvalWorks, LLC and blogger at EvalThought.  So you are an evaluation consultant.  You evaluate programs/projects as part of an evaluation consultancy you own, co-own, or work for.  But how often do you evaluate your own business?

Hot Tip #1: Think logic model.  Do you have a business plan (in writing/on paper) that describes your goals/objectives, activities, outputs, outcomes, and impact? If not, create one – it could be really mind-blowing.

Hot Tip #2: Develop an evaluation plan linked to your logic model. Identify the evidence/data that  you will need to collect to formatively and summatively assess whether you are meeting your outcomes and outputs.  For example, if your goal is to write a winning RFP proposal, one activity may be “Respond to Evaluation RFPs”. Your output may be “Complete 4 RFPs” and your outcome may be “Improve the quality of my proposal submissions”.  What data do you need to collect to assess whether this is happening or has happened?  I can think of peer feedback, feedback from reviewers, comparison of your proposal to the wining proposal (if not yours), etc.

Hot Tip #3: Collect data – whatever you identified – and lots of it – related to costs/profits, proposal outcomes, media exposure, name recognition, etc.

Hot Tip #4: Review the data. What data triangulate? Which data are most reliable / valid? What can you conclude? Where do you need to do to make improvements? How will you improve –  Coursework? Self-teaching? Mentoring? Better marketing?

Hot Tip #5: Repeat – at least annually.

Click here to link to an article on creating effective dashboards. Develop one for your own company that tracks critical indicators of success to gain practice and then identify ways to incorporate dashboards into the work you provide clients.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Independent Consultants (IC) TIG Week with our colleagues in the IC AEA Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our IC  TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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