As a consultant, I work primarily with private sector organizations including the “big-five” banks, professional governing bodies and regulators for accountants, lawyers and trustees in bankruptcy. These businesses have deeply rooted performance measurement cultures, but are often unfamiliar with program evaluation. Managing evaluations within these organizations often entails accentuating evaluation capacity building while simultaneously enhancing the utility of the evaluation process and its findings.
In situations like these, I turn to Michael Quinn Patton’s Utilization-focused Evaluation. Patton emphasizes placing primary intended users (PIUs) at the centre of the evaluation. His approach describes multiple steps to managing evaluations while promoting the utility of the evaluation. Parts of his framework focuses on the need to build relationships that promote not only evaluation management, but also evaluation capacity.