What Is Evaluation Design?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 25 January 2020
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Evaluation design refers to the process or structure used to conduct some type of evaluation process. The nature of the design will often be influenced by when the evaluation is to take place, the type of evaluation involved, and the reasons for the assessment in the first place. There are many different models of designs for evaluation in common use, each one offering benefits that may be especially helpful in specific situations. Business owners can choose to manage the selection of a design from within the organization or seek outside services to identify and make use of the best possible design.

One of the first considerations of any evaluation design has to do with the timing of the evaluation. For example, if the evaluation has to do with the product assessment of a good or service that is under development and scheduled to be launched by a certain date, the nature of the design will focus on using data related to how well the product is projected to perform in the marketplace. At the same time, if the evaluation has to do with the assessment of a product that has been on the market for some time, the focus is on using historical data to determine how well the market performance is living up to previous expectations. The timing for the evaluation design will often impact what data is used as part of the process and even how that data is interpreted.


Another element that is crucial to evaluation design is the subject of the assessment. Product evaluation will often require careful scrutiny of available data relating to the function and appearance of the product, while the design of an evaluation of an employee or even an ongoing project will consider information that is somewhat different. Typically, any evaluation design will seek to include data that is specifically relevant to the subject and then pursue a process that is likely to produce a result that is of use to the operation.

When it comes to evaluation design, there are a number of different models available that can be adapted to fit specific circumstances. Just about every model will come with some benefits as well as potential liabilities that must be weighed before the design is considered complete. While the process of identifying and implementing a specific evaluation design can be managed in-house, the task can also be outsourced to services that focus specifically on various forms of business assessments and evaluations, an option that may be more helpful and possibly cost effective.


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