Twenty-One Ways To Make Time For Measurement, Part 1

March 3, 2009 by Stacey Barr

Stop reporting measures that no-one uses. Be daring – stop reporting what you know isn’t being used, and if anyone notices, use it as an opportunity to start a conversation about how to decide what is worth measuring and reporting.

 

2. Reduce your time in meetings. Meetings always take longer than they need to. The big time wasters are tangents, people arriving late and violent agreements that mistakenly sound like useful debates. Start on time, finish early and diplomatically manage the discussion.

 

3. Reduce the number of meetings you attend. Agree only to meetings that have a clear purpose that is aligned to your role and responsibilities. Don’t go to meetings out of obligation or interest alone.

 

4. Rank your priorities and drop the bottom 10%. List your tasks, both what you are doing and what you should be doing, and rank them in order of importance. Simply stop doing the bottom 10% – they are likely to have consequences far less than failing to measure what matters.

 

5. Design your weekly schedule to make time for measurement. Set a regular time in your diary that you block out for measurement related activities, then put the remainder of your tasks around that. Like Stephen Covey explains, put the big rocks (the important stuff) in first, and you’ll fit more of the smaller rocks in anyway.

 

6. Bring up measurement in corridor conversations and existing meetings. Don’t wait for measurement time. Use natural conversations that have even minor relevance to performance and results as an opportunity to talk about measures that matter.

 

7. Hold yourself accountable. Set yourself progress goals for choosing, creating and using measures, and reward yourself when you achieve them.

 

8. Get others to hold you accountable. Agree progress goals with your manager or colleagues or customers for choosing, creating and using measures. Set regular check-in time with them to pat yourselves on the back – or face the music.

 

9. Stop initiatives that are only treating symptoms. If you’re giving time to projects or initiatives that aren’t working, or aren’t fixing root causes of performance problems, stop the process and design a new one that incorporates measurement of root causes.

 

10. Save time by stopping when it’s good enough. Stop overprocessing whatever you do, and get clear about the point at which you’ve done what will work, and don’t waste time gold-plating it.

 

11. Create a measurement mastermind group. Find like-minded people in your organisation and meet for lunch once a month to move through each other’s measurement challenges by sharing ideas and experiences.

 

TAKING ACTION:

Can you choose just one of the first 11 ways to make time for measurement, and practice it over the next two weeks?

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