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Friday, August 19, 2022

Lean Quote: Don’t Fly Blind, Collect the Right Metrics

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.

"If you don’t collect any metrics, you’re flying blind. If you collect and focus on too many, they may be obstructing your field of view.  —  Scott M. Graffius, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions

One of the biggest metrics mistakes is random selection. It is not enough to simply create a numeric measure. The best metrics start with the big picture. The measure should accurately reflect the organization’s vision. 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.

Selecting Key Performance Indicators can be downright hard. As an evaluation to see if you got your right KPIs, here’s a quick punch list you can use to pressure test your list of KPIs to make sure they’re strategic:

They provide a way to see if your strategy is working.

They focus our staff’s attention on what matters most for success.

They provide a common language and understanding for communicating our performance.

They are valid and realistic, helping ensure we’re measuring the right things.

They are verifiable and ensure accurate data.

They clearly express the result of outcome of achieving the objective.

Too many metrics create chaos and unnecessary work. Too few metrics will not provide enough measurement to ensure you’re your strategies are supported. Your metrics should provide insights into the progress your agency is making.

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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