Three Ways to Toss Those Time-Wasting MeasuresSeptember 1, 2009 by Stacey Barr
We almost all do it: hang on to performance measures that we really don’t need.
Believe me, measuring what doesn’t matter does more harm than good! When you’re measuring what doesn’t matter, you’re using up resources better spent analysing and improving, rather than reporting. And people’s focus will be fractured by the sheer volume of data that’s put in front of them.
So, what to do to toss those time-wasting measures away?
#1: Stop Reporting It And See What Happens
Decide, this month, to simply not include all the usual measures and statistics in the performance report that you suspect no-one refers to. You’ll soon work out, by trial and error, which measures really do matter, because they’ll be missed. It will help everyone else work out what really matters, too.
#2: Test Its Alignment To Strategy
Grab a flipchart page, or whiteboard, some pens, your business plan, and a list of all the measures you currently report. Along the top of the page or whiteboard, write each of the business goals. Then one goal at a time, list the measures that really, truly are fabulous evidence of the achievement of that goal. If the measure isn’t fabulous evidence, then flick it.
#3: Have A Single Version Of The Truth
Don’t measure the same thing in 12 different ways. Decide the one true way to calculate and report the measure, and standardise on that. I’ve seen immense amounts of time wasted in measuring something as straightforward as cycle time over a dozen different ways by almost as many different people, simply because no-one drew a line in the sand and said “Here’s how we measure this.”
Remove The Causes Of Cynicism
All the wasted time and effort and distraction from measuring anything else other than what truly matters is one of the reasons so many people are cynical about measuring performance. So go spring-clean your measure collection and everyone will be able to see what matters, much more easily.
If you know your measure collection needs some spring-cleaning (or severe control burning), pick one of the 3 suggestions in today’s article and commit to doing it before the end of this month.
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