Wednesday, February 21, 2018

What is Watched Gets Done, Importance of Effective Measures

There is quite a bit of debate about the origin of this little statement. The Renaissance astronomer Rhaticus suggested that if you can measure something, then you have some control over it, and the Hawthorne Effect is a great example of this principle in action.

There are many ways for ensuring that effective measures and supervision is in place in my experience.

First, you must have a business plan and budget. Without the simple and clear statement of goals and objectives you’ll have no idea of why you are observing and where you would like to be.
You must also have good information systems. Your practice software will tell you everything you need to know, but only if you put the right information in to it. Garbage in, garbage out – or ‘GIGO’ definitely applies here. Empty data fields and inaccurate entry are going to sink the ship quickly. 

Know the difference between a measure and a metric. A measure is one quantitative number that counts something, for example; “We made $100,000 sales last quarter”. A metric gives you more information because it compares the measure to some other baseline, for example; “We made $100,000 sales last quarter, $50,000 more than the same quarter last year”. It is also important to look at trends over time. Benchmarks can also be helpful, particularly when discussing differences. A ‘busy’ practice with $500k of sales and four staff, might want to think about the $1.5 million sales practice with five staff.

Understand the difference between an outcome metric and a performance metric. An outcome metric tells you the result of something compared to the past. A performance metric tells you how well the activities are performing that have been determined as future targets.

Know what you want to know before you start measuring things. Sometimes reports are a dumping ground for all the data that’s available, whether it’s useful or not. The information must mean something and lead to a change in actions, tactics or behaviors.

Nobody will achieve their objectives if they have no idea what they are. Staff need to know what their daily, weekly and overall targets are for sales, break-even and the reportable KPIs. They also need feedback. We also need to give them knowledge, resources and support to get there. This is really important.

Measures need to be simple to understand and transparent. People in the business need to understand the measures and how they personally influence these measures. They also need to understand the impact these have on overall business success.

What gets measured gets done and drives business success.

Subscribe to my feed Subscribe via Email LinkedIn Group Facebook Page @TimALeanJourney YouTube Channel SlideShare

No comments:

Post a Comment