Theory E²: Working with Entrepreneurs in Closely-Held Enterprises: XIII. Assessment in the Enterprise Cycle (Part Two)
Several problems are inherent in typical documentation processes. First, the documents often are stored with no master code. One can retrieve a document only by combing through vast arrays of irrelevant material. Even more importantly, there is rarely a summary documentation report that highlights the richness and value of the stored documents. Nothing entices one to explore the documents. Third, the documentation is usually not linked directly to the purposes or expected outcomes of the program and remains isolated from other aspects of the total evaluation. Many of the problems usually associated with documentation can be avoided if a systematic and comprehensive documentation procedure is implemented.
Determination of Program Outcomes
The third type of program evaluation is both the most obvious and most difficult. It is the most obvious because the term “evaluation” immediately elicits for many of us the image of judgment and assignment of worth. Has this program done what it was intended to do? Has this program done something that is worthwhile? Outcome determination evaluation is difficult because the two questions just cited look quite similar on the surface, but are, in fact, quite different. To know whether a program has done what it was supposed to do is quite different from knowing whether what it has done is of any value. The old axiom to the effect that “something not worth doing is not worth doing well” certainly applies to this type of evaluation. The problem is further compounded when an appreciative approach is taken to program evaluation, for both questions are important when seeking to appreciate a program unit. In the summative appreciation of a program distinctive characteristics and strengths, we must assess not only the outcomes of the program, but also the value to be assigned to each of these outcomes.