BOOK REVIEW: How to Measure Anything, by Douglas Hubbard

April 26, 2009 by Stacey Barr

5 Stars — For all manner of “How do I measure this?” challenges

Some of the best reflections I took from Doug’s book, How to Measure Anything, are these:

1) Finding measures is not the first step – defining the problem you want to solve (or the goal or outcome you want to achieve) has to come first or you’ll end up trying to measure the wrong thing, or make the measurement more complex than it ought to be.

2) The importance of precision is over-rated in most measurement problems. Estimation is incredibly valuable – and often the most cost-effective way to measure something. As Doug says, it’s about reducing uncertainty. Removing uncertainty is a waste of time that should be spent making progress on your problem, goal or outcome.

3) Many measurement challenges look a lot harder than they are, and when you bring statistical language into the conversation, it can be very off-putting to many. Doug makes it easier through his great examples and practical explanations.

I could write a lot more about Doug’s book, but your time is better spent reading the book, and not all my musings! Doug is the real deal – I had the privelege of interviewing him for my readers some time ago, and he was passionate, articulate and very generous in sharing his tips for how to measure anything! Several readers who subsequently bought Doug’s book took the time to let me know how much they loved it.

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