You can control four things–what you say; what you do; and how you act and react (both subsets of what you do). So when is the best action a quick reaction and when are you not waiting (because waiting is an act of faith)? And how is this an evaluation question?
The original post was in reference to an email response going astray (go see what his suggestions were); it is not likely that emails regarding an evaluation report will fall in that category. Though not likely, it is possible. So you send the report to someone who doesn’t want/need/care about the report and is really not a stakeholder, just on the distribution list that you copied from a previous post. And ooops, you goofed. Yet the report is important; some people who needed/wanted/cared about it got it. You need to correct for those others. You can remedy the situation by following his suggestion, “Alert senders right away when you (send or) receive sensitive (or not so sensitive) emails not intended for you, so the sender can implement serious damage control.” (Parenthetical added.)
Emails seem to be a topic of conversation this week. A blog I follow regularly (Harold Jarche) cited two studies about the amount of time spent reading and dealing with email. One of the studies he cites ( in the Atlantic Monthly), the average worker spends 28% of a days work time reading email. Think of all the non-necessary email you get THAT YOU READ. How is that cluttering your life? How is that decreasing your efficiency when it comes to the evaluation work you do? Email is most of my work these days; used to be that the phone and face-to-face took up a lot of my time…not so much today. I even use social media for capacity building; my browser is always open. So between email and the web, a lot of time is spent intimate with technology.
The last thought I had for this week was the use of words–not unrelated to emails–especially as it relates to evaluation. Evaluation is often referred to by efficacy (producing the desired effect), effective (producing the desired effect in specific conditions), efficiency (producing the desired effect in specific conditions with available resources), and fidelity (following the plan). I wonder if someone would do an evaluation of what we do, would we be able to say we are effective and efficient, let alone faithful to the plan?