There is a saying that goes “you cannot manage what you cannot measure”. Measurement is the only tool you have to quantifiably know how you performed.

With established tests and key performance indicators as the benchmark for performance success, measurement and reporting on a program is critical. No performance is flawless. This is the best opportunity to learn.

Measurement can take many forms. By utilizing different metrics, you can find helpful data that is both easy to capture and meaningful to your project. We wrote a blog last December on the Measure phase where we delved deeper into the different types of measurement tools. It is a great starting place to familiarize yourself with the different types of tools available. In this week’s blog, we are looking at why measurement is so powerful and guides many of our decisions and actions.

Cuts Through the Clutter
Measurement brings an incredible amount of visibility to a project. We often see that people try to (and sometimes succeed) at bringing their points across through expansive wording and vagueness. That is, until they are challenged to measure it. A debate becomes a lot clearer when you have the data to back up your position. Using the right measurement will enable organizations to identify and understand what is needed to drive results. There is no guessing or assuming – everything is backed up by data. This will allow you to move through any misconceptions or pre-conceived notions and bring clarity to the work you are doing.

Holds You Accountable
Trying to hold yourself or your team accountable for something that is not being measured is extremely difficult. There is no way to identify whether you have accomplished what you set out to do. Time frames that are open ended can easily lead to low energy and complacency among team members. When measurements are set in place, everybody is working towards something and you are able to clearly identify what you are doing right and what can be tweaked.

Allows for Continuous Improvement
Imagine running a race and never knowing your time – how will you know if you are improving? It is simply impossible to improve performance without meaningful feedback. Data and measurement give a point of comparison and show when something is going well and when something is not. Measurement also makes it possible to see any patterns and correlations. For example, if organizations sales are down – you will know to explore the reasons why and then fix the problem. Measurement allows for organizations to compare different areas of work and understand where the improvement is needed and how to improve on it most efficiently.

Final Bell
Measurement is an absolute. It is quantifiable. It is success or fail. Results against your pre-determined KPI’s are all that matters. Measurement has the ability to cut through the clutter, hold you accountable and allows organizations to continuously improve and gain a clearer picture of where a project is heading.