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Friday, October 19, 2012

Lean Quote: What Gets Measured Gets Done So Do it Right

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. Make sure you are measuring the right things!" — Peter Drucker

It is not enough to simply create a numeric measure. The measure should accurately reflect the process. We use metrics to base decisions on and to focus our actions. It is not only important to measure the right indicators, it is important to measure them well.

Choosing the right metrics is critical to success, but the road to good metrics is fraught with pitfalls. As your endeavors to become more metrics-driven, beware of errors in the design and use of metrics.

Common mistakes include:

  • Metrics for the sake of metrics (not aligned)
  • Too many metrics (no action)
  • Metrics not driving the intended action
  • Lack of follow up
  • No record of methodology
  • No benchmark
  • Underestimation of the data extraction
Although there may never be a single perfect measure, it is certainly possible to create a measure or even multiple measures which reflect the performance of your system. If the metrics are chosen carefully, then, in the process of achieving their metrics, managers and employees will make the right decisions and take the right actions that enable the organization to maximize its performance.

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