Reviewing and evaluating your plan

When out hiking in the wilderness hikers constantly review their position to avoid getting lost and adding hours of time to their journey. Finally, when they arrive at their destination they reflect on the day’s journey discussing what routes went well and perhaps what to avoid next time. Similarly you need to review your plan regularly to ensure you are on target and evaluate the performance of your project.

Reviewing your plan

By regularly reviewing and monitoring your plan you’ll be able to reflect on your current progress and consider implementing changes where required.

To avoid getting lost you should ask yourself:

  • Are we making progress?
  • Why is a particular process not working well?
  • Do we need to change what we are doing and go in a different direction?

The key here is to monitor and measure, if you don’t know where you are, how will you know where you are going? Measure your current progress against your original objectives.

Key Performance Indicators

A key performance indicator is a set metric to measure how you are performing in a particular area.

Why do we measure performance?

  • To learn and improve
  • To report externally and demonstrate compliance
  • To monitor and manage people

KPIs serve to reduce the complex nature of organisational performance to a small set of key indicators; they should clearly link to the strategic objectives of the plan. Refer to your objective KPIs to make sure you’re on target.

For example KPIs to track the engagement of your website might include:

  • Number of daily visitors
  • Number of unique visitors
  • Average time spent onsite
  • Average time spent on page
  • Average number of pages viewed per visitor
  • Number of total sales
    etc

Record Everything

Whether things go right or wrong, record what happens. Keeping a record of these issues will prove invaluable when evaluating your project, consider:

  • What went wrong
  • The effect it had
  • The reasons for the issues
  • How they were solved
  • What could be done to avoid them next time

You can use these records to understand why the issues happened and what you need to do to avoid them in the future.

Evaluating

Evaluating the outcome of your plan is essential to find out what worked well, what you achieved and what you should improve should you repeat the plan again.

When writing your evaluation consider:

  • Whether the project achieved its long term aims
  • Were good records kept? How could this be improved?
  • Was the funding realistic?
  • Did you need more resources for the project?
  • Did the people in the project have the right skills to support the project?
  • Was the plan working?
  • Did the evaluation show we could improve delivery of the project?

Having trouble getting started?

At some time or another we all suffer writers block, typically when we are trying to bring a large project to a nice close. If you’re struggling, draw up a list of everything you wish to discuss, then prioritise the list in order you wish to discuss those points.

From here, it’s simply a case of working through each point in turn discussing Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. Try to relate the points of discussion as you go and before you know it you’re done!

Check back next week for more fantastic Frooition news, tips and advice!

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