Organization design and development activity is usually not tracked or evaluated in any meaningful way. Practitioners do not know whether their work has directly resulted in improved organizational performance. A report from the UK's Roffey Park Institute highlights this deficiency in OD the Roffey Park Institute's report Best Practice in OD evaluation.
The authors say that
We approached our research aware that there are many practitioners in the field of OD who believe that its systemic nature makes it hard to measure; some hold a world view that says it's inappropriate even to try.
…. In the prevailing economic climate we would argue that it is critically important. And as we emerge into a post recession world, we believe that being able and willing to demonstrate the impact of OD on the effectiveness of organizations will be imperative if the discipline is to maintain and increase its credibility.
Analytics and evaluation are helpful. A small personal example illustrates: in May this year, around the time the Roffey Park report came out, and triggered by what I had read in it, I enrolled on Google analytics so I could track traffic to this website. Here is the summary I've gathered on this site.
Monthly traffic has almost doubled between May of this year and this December, going from 300s to 600s, and traffic has come from 58 different countries. Here are the top 6countries to visit the site.
1 United States
2 United Kingdom
3 South Africa
The most visited pages on the site for December are the following
1 Home page
2 About Page (Biography Page)
3 Tools of the Month
4 Contact Page
The individual blogs have received hits but not significant numbers. The most visited blogs this month (December 2010) received between 20-30 hits. These results are promising, in that traffic is building, but given the time and effort it takes to construct a daily blog alongside a full time job and several demanding part time affiliations and commitments, I'm not sure that there is a real value to me of blogging on a daily basis.
It seems that actual readers' hits on the blog for December accumulated to about 76 out of the 609 visits / hits received on the site. What I don't know, but am trying to find out, is if the 76 readers constituted a loyal following who visit the site regularly. I may risk disappointing them if I don't blog everyday. So please let me know on this if you are a loyal follower who enjoys reading a daily blog here.
Till I hear from you, and using this data I've decided to blog once a week for the next six months and will post each Sunday. So, the next blog post you'll see will be Sunday January 2. I'm going to experiment with the approach too. Since I am a full time OD consultant I plan to do more on the lines of examples of stuff that I'm working on, and hints and useful things I've come across that week that have helped me manage any issues, challenges, opportunities.
I'll be monitoring the traffic monthly and making adjustments in the light of what the data suggests and/or shows.