Use Relevant Metrics

Measurement is the bane of our existence. The only way for us to know if what we are doing is effective is to measure the outcomes. But measuring stuff isn’t easy. In fact, we might be measuring the wrong stuff.

First, there are things that we know. It may be sales to a particular customer, regional profit growth or the return on a particular investment. What is important about the information you know is determining what is relevant. By relevant I mean that it is something you are able to act on or actually determine effectiveness.

Second, and much more difficult to handle, are those things that you don’t yet know. For what you don’t know, what is knowable. In other words, just because you aren’t evaluating something in a specific way doesn’t mean that you can’t. Before you start acting on it, though, make sure it is meaningful.

On the other hand, if you can’t access the data, and you can determine its relevance, you need to know what it will take to get to it.

In short, you have to measure. What you measure must lead to improvement of some sort, namely your organization’s growth. More on this tomorrow.

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