What Measurement Means For Me in 2016

by Stacey Barr |

It’s the week of Christmas and so I don’t want to be too heavy and serious. So if you feel inclined to lightly ponder, let me share with you what measuring performance is going to mean for me in 2016.

My 2016 theme is “experiment”. Experiment, to me, is about asking specific questions about things I want to learn or influence, and designing projects or process changes that will help me answer those questions.

The first specific feature of an experiment is to form a testable hypothesis that helps to answer the question. Testable hypotheses are statements that identify the variable we want to influence (dependent variable) and the variable we will change (independent variable), in a measurable way.

For example, some of the hypotheses I will test during 2016 are:

  • My website receives more unique visitors (dependent variable) because my book is back in print and selling again (independent variable).
  • The Measure Up email newsletter has a higher open rate (dependent variable) when it’s frequency reduces to monthly (independent variable).
  • Reducing international travel to twice per year (independent variable) reduces my physiological stress (dependent variable).

For each of these hypotheses, how I change the independent variable is basically my experiment. And the measures I use for both the dependent and independent variables will help me test the hypotheses after I conduct the experiments. And that’s like saying this:

  • Does the number of Unique Visitors to my website increase as Book Sales commence again and increase?
  • Does the Measure Up Open Rate increase around the same time that frequency changed to monthly?
  • What is the difference in my HF Power (measure of parasympathetic nervous system, or stress) during 2016, compared to 2014-2015 when I travelled a lot?

So rather than performance measures merely being about monitoring my strategic goals in 2016, they are playing a more pivotal role in focusing me on faster learning and improvement through very specific experiments. I’m scheduling one experiment per month.


What role will performance measurement play in your work and life in 2016?


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