Stanley Capela on Using Kaizen for Program Improvement

As one from Brooklyn might say – “Yo! Seriously, Good Day!” For those who don’t subscribe to AEA’s listserv, Evaltalk, my name is Stanley Capela. I am the Vice President for Quality Management at HeartShare Human Services of New York, a 90 million dollar non-profit that provides children and family and developmental disabilities services for over 15,000 individuals in the New York City area.

Hot Tip: I am into a variety of techniques. One is Kaizen. I learned simple ideas lead to positive change. For instance, there are times when you are trying to figure out what is going wrong with a program and need a quick solution. As someone who tends to ask a lot of questions on Evaltalk, I often find coming up with a simple question often leads to possible solutions. One technique requires an index card and a question. Specifically, you convene the various stakeholders that are involved with the program. You distribute an index card and ask them to answer the following question: “If you can change one thing that would improve the program what would it be?” I have used this technique on several occasions. It provides a simple and useful way to identify an issue that would inform to how I would evaluate the program. If you have a quick thought or idea and want to share just email me at At some point I will put the ideas together and share it. You never know what these various ideas might provide in strengthening evaluation.

Rad Resource: Want to learn more about the basics of the concepts behind Kaizen? Wikipedia has a nice explanation, available online at

This contribution is from the aea365 Daily Tips blog, by and for evaluators, from the American Evaluation Association. Please consider contributing – send a note of interest to

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