Taken from the Plexus Calls email  for Friday, May 29, 2015. “What is a simple rule? Royce Holladay has described simple rules as the ‘specific, uncomplicated instructions that guide behavior and create the structure within which human beings can live their lives.’ ” How do individuals, organizations and businesses identify their simple rule? What are the guidelines that can help align their values and their actions?

First a little about Royce Holladay, also from the same email:  Royce Holladay is co author, with Mallary Tytel, of Simple Rules: Radical Inquiry into Self, a book that aids recognition of the patterns that show up repeatedly in our lives. With that knowledge, individuals and groups are better able to use stories, metaphors and other tools to examine the interactions that influence the course of our lives and careers.

What if you substituted “evaluator” for “human beings”? (Yes, I know that evaluators are humons first and then evaluators.) What would you say about simple rules as evaluators? What guidelines can help align evaluators’ values and actions?

Last week I spoke of the AEA Guiding PrinciplesGuiding principles and the Joint Committee Program Evaluation StandardsThe_Program_Evaluation_Standards_3ed. Perhaps they serve as the simple rule for evaluators? They are simple rules (though not proscriptive, just suggestive). The AEA isn’t the ethics police; only a guide. Go on line and read the Guiding Principles. They are simple. They are clear. There are only five.

    1. Systematic Inquiry: Evaluators conduct systematic, data-based inquiries.
    2. Competence: Evaluators provide competent performance to stakeholders.
    3. Integrity/Honesty:  Evaluators display honesty and integrity in their own behavior, and attempt to ensure the honesty and integrity of the entire evaluation process.
    4. Respect for People: Evaluators respect the security, dignity and self-worth of respondents, program participants, clients, and other evaluation stakeholders.
    5. Responsibilities for General and Public Welfare: Evaluators articulate and take into account the diversity of general and public interests and values that may be related to the evaluation.

The Program Evaluation Standards are also clear. There are also five (and those five have several parts so they are not as simple).

  1. Utility (8 sub-parts)
  2. Feasibility (4 sub-parts)
  3. Propriety (7 sub-parts)
  4. Accuracy (8 sub-parts)
  5. Evaluation Accountability (3 sub-parts)

You can down load the Guiding Principles from the AEA website. Y0u can get the Standards book here or here. If they are not on your shelf, they need to be. They are simple rules.

mytwo cents.


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