Evaluation Inspirations

Is It Possible to Plan Yourself Into Action?

I found myself searching for an answer today…when I did not really understand, know how to frame, or even how to begin to rationalize a question.

*Disclaimer: This next comment is not meant to brag or boast*

I usually have an answer for 95% of the evaluation queries that come my way. I may not have the knowledge or skills to pull off the job, but I know what needs to take place on a basic level. Are my ideas the best? No. Are they always right?  No. (5% window,lol) Are they the most theoretically sound? No. Well…what are they then?! They get the job done. Period.

Back to this QOTD (Question of the Day): I was seeking a solution for a an evaluation problem related to implementation. I do alot of planning in my current evaluation position, however, I was wondering if some of the same concepts used for planning could help with planning…ACTION…and in turn some type of follow up mechanism to track the action progress. I want to note that when I say action I do not mean program outputs necessarily. I am also pertaining to the actions taking place in a process evaluation that lead up to the outputs.

My solution: I Google’d “action plans” and came up with alot of examples. One, school based, from WestEd, another global education action plan from UNC’s Education Department, and even one on a positive thinking site for people wanting to make changes in their individual lives. I am intrigued by the concept of planning delving into action; you can practically plan until your eyes pop out it seems. I was also curious about different types of programs and organizations that use action plans, and their results. So, what do you think: Is an action plan just another document to archive or will it help lead people, programs, and organizations to “move it move it!”

Please, share your thoughts and experiences!!!

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