In 1977 the federal government formally introduced a requirement that its departments and agencies evaluate their programs on a comprehensive and cyclical basis. Since then, over 600 evaluations of varying quality and significance have been completed. This article focuses on the evaluation assessment, the principal planning instrument that is to be prepared immediately before every federal evaluation, in order to show its relative success and to identify ways of improving its performance. The article supplements the technological strength of the Office of the Comptroller General of Canada by providing practical, valid, common-sense guidance on how to more successfully plan useful evaluations.