How to write action-oriented comments in an agency evaluation

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Posted by Decideware Staff on Apr 26, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Complaining about a problem without proposing a solution is called whining.” This same principle can be applied to agency performance evaluations.  Too often, free-text comments are used to simply complain about an issue, but they don’t provide a proposed solution or action.

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Comments should state the the Issue, Desired State and Action.

Creating action-oriented comments is an art.  It is important that comments provide valuable feedback to clearly state the concern, issue or success (Issue), clearly articulate the desired state (Desire) and define clear actions on how they can achieve the desired state (Action).

Following the three guidelines above, we can turn that comment into a more actionable statement:For example, the comment, “the Agency never understands what we want” is too generalized and does not provide steps for fixing the problem. 

“There’s an issue in communication regarding the agency brief.  It would be great if we didn’t have to communicate our needs more than once.  Maybe we need to work with the agency on a more structured briefing process that works for both of us.”

  1. ISSUE: “There is an issue in communication, regarding the agency brief.”
  2. DESIRE: “It would be great if we didn’t have to communicate our needs more than once.”
  3. ACTION: “Maybe we need to work with the agency on putting in place a more structured briefing process that works for both of us.”

comments_2.jpgClear, concise, action-oriented comments move from simply complaining about a problem, to putting action behind the issue and providing guidance to successfully move forward.

And that approach helps makes the agency evaluation process so much more productive.

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