Programs should be evaluated on at least a yearly basis to discern if the programs are reaching their goals, achieving their outcomes and if they are doing so in an efficient manner. Small businesses seldom have the resources to conduct evaluations of a program’s goals, outcomes and process. However, they can think about where they have the most concerns about a program and then gear an evaluation to look at that aspect of the program.
Program evaluation holds numerous advantages. It can verify or increase the results/outcomes on customers (internal or external). It can fine tune delivery of program services, which, in turn, saves costs and time. Evaluations often provide wonderful testimonials that can be used for public relations and credibility of the program. In fact, evaluations are often used by program planners to ensure that the program is indeed carrying out the original process planned for the program in the first place. Often, the program plan ends up changing dramatically over time as program employees are overcome by events. Program processes can naturally deviate from the original plan because program plans were flawed in the first place, the program’s environment changed a great deal or program employees simply found a much better way to deliver products/services to customers (internal or external). For more information about program evaluations, their planning and how to carry them out.