Plan Evaluation

Most plans are developed as proposals that are subject to review and comment. This is especially true in the case of plans developed by public agencies, whether federal, State, or local, because of government requirements for public review and comment. However, even private organizations such as businesses or NGOs almost always include plan evaluation as part of the planning process, even if the review process is only internal to the organization. We distinguish between plan evaluation and plan performance. Plan performance is a retrospective activity that addresses how well a plan has actually worked; for example, have the management activities implemented by the plan accomplished plan objectives? In contrast, plan evaluation refers to properties of the plan per se (as opposed to results produced by a plan). Plan evaluation usually considers a few key questions: does the plan address the appropriate questions? Did the planning process adequately address the questions? Were the alternatives proposed necessary and sufficient? If the planning process involved selection of a preferred alternative, was the choice defensible? And so on.

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