Reviewing your strategy and action plans
In effect, this stage flows back to the start of the change process (‘analysis’), creating a cycle of continuous improvement.
A strategy should describe how and when evaluation will occur. Ongoing evaluation involves showing what has been achieved to date. This kind of evaluation can be undertaken at regular intervals as a form of progress audit. The final evaluation involves assessing whether or not strategic objectives have been achieved, using whatever measures of organisational performance were set out in the strategy, and additional ones if appropriate (e.g. if technology has enabled better or more extensive data-gathering and reporting).
The strategy document should set out the process and frequency for monitoring organisational progress or performance in relation to each objective.
Questions to ask at regular intervals include:
- How is the organisation progressing in relation to each of the objectives within the gender strategy?
- Is there sufficient data to reliably assess progress / measure outcomes?
- Where lack of progress or issues are identified, how can this information be used to address these issues?
- What activities or actions should be stopped / started / changed?
- Does the strategy or individual objectives need to be adjusted in light of experience to date, and what are the implications of this?
A primary method of assessing whether the execution of a gender strategy is producing the intended impact will be to monitor, measure and regularly report the outcomes of core people processes over time. Ideally, the mechanisms to track and report should be in place before the strategy implementation begins, to enable measurement of results before, during and after specific initiatives and interventions. A range of relevant metrics, aligned to key focus areas, is set out at appendix A to support the measurement of strategy effectiveness.
This occurs after the deadline for achievement for each objective within the strategy.
Questions to ask include:
- Has the organisation achieved the respective objective(s) within the gender strategy?
- If not, why not – and what is the learning from each success, partial success or failure?
- How should the next gender strategy be adapted to exploit the previous learning, and to maximise the chances of success?
It may also be helpful to cross-reference gender strategy outcomes with performance in:
- compliance reporting (GEIs and minimum standards) EOCGE submission
- Competitor Analysis Benchmark Report(s)
Another useful set of data may come from specific comparisons with other organisations or inputs from gender advocacy bodies.