How Do You Get People to Give Time to Measuring?

by Stacey Barr |

There are three reasons why people will give time to things. Apply these reasons to measurement, and more people will give time to measuring, too.

Businesswoman leading a team meeting. Credit:

Donna works in a large public sector organisation that still has ad hoc KPIs. She asked me a question that is not at all surprising for such an organisation:

“How do you get people to invest the time to develop good performance measures?”

Generally speaking, people give time to things for several reasons, like these:

    1. those things are important to them
    2. those things are habits they already have
    3. those things are what they believe they should do

I reckon this gives us clues about how we can turn performance measurement into one of those things people do give time to.

How to make performance measurement more important to people.

Performance measurement is an enabler. By measuring what matters, two time-savers result. Firstly, we do what matters so much better and spend less time on rework. Secondly, we see more clearly what doesn’t matter, and then have the choice to stop giving time to it.

To highlight the time-saving power of measuring, start with a discussion about what kinds of wasted effort and rework people are doing – and are frustrated by. Get them to decide the biggest time-waster and measure it to improve it. And consider quantifying how much time this improvement saves, too.

How to make performance measurement a healthy habit.

Mostly people don’t really know how to measure performance in a way that saves time and is meaningful. In fact, many people have bad habits when it comes to measuring!

We need to make the steps of a proper approach to measurement clear and easy and fast with techniques and templates that work. Then it’s easier for the measurement activities to become easy, satisfying, automatic habits. PuMP is a proper approach, and you can get a sense of how it works here.

How to make performance measurement a “should”.

Often people say they don’t have time for measuring because they don’t get the message from their manager or supervisor that they should do it. There are too many other “shoulds” on the list. Fair enough!

Turn your attention to the manager or supervisor, and talk with them, using both the above two tips to help them appreciate the return they can get when they support their employees to measure something that matters. It will help if you also have one or two known performance problems ready to suggest as candidates for measurement and improvement.

It starts with conversations.

Pay more attention to the conversations you have with people about performance measurement. Make sure those conversations centre around making life better for everyone. When people can see how measuring can make them feel better, they’ll be open to giving time to it.

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