Friday, December 17, 2010

Lean Quote: Measurement Gets

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.


"What gets measured gets done, what gets done well gets rewarded, and what gets rewarded gets repeated." - Unknown

There are number of variation of this quote attributable to several notable authors.  It is often recalled in some discussion of performance metrics or motivation.  This is no different but I believe there is a truth to this statement.

Metrics matter! What gets measured gets changed and what gets rewarded gets done. If you don't measure it, you can't change it and if you don't reward change it will not happen.

Some say performance measures are a waste.  I don't agree.  They should be minimized and improved for effectiveness but not skipped entirely.  Regular measurement and reporting keeps you focused — because you use that information to make decisions to improve your results.  Metrics create an environment of accountability throughout the organization.  An organization that closely tracks performance metrics creates a culture where goal achievement is the norm and where there is no room for mediocrity.

Performance metircs also provide a way to convey corporate goals to the organization in a tangible form and get buy-in at all levels.  It also sets an example that the company management is holding itself accountable for success.

It is important to remember performance metrics are one measurement technique in your arsenal. They can be a quick and useful tool to let you diagnose strengths and weaknesses in your process, make strategic decisions, and ensure you are heading in the right direction. Don’t forget: the real value is in the discussion of results with your team, not the numbers themselves.

“Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.” – Albert Einstein



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1 comment:

  1. Terrific post, Tim! For communication to be effective, it needs to be reciprocal, which is one of the reasons why face-to-face is so critical. In my LEAN COMMUNICATIONS work, face-to-face is a key component. So, Mark, I beg to differ with those who tell you face-to-face is not lean.

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