What Gets Measured Gets Done


You show me how I will be measured…

… and I will show you how I will behave

We all know it’s true. There is scientific evidence to prove it. If you set someone a goal they will try to hit it. It is so effective that measurement and target setting have become the number 1 management tool.

But applying the tape measure to your organisation is a subtle art; the way you do it can lead to remarkably different results:

Method 1: Micro Measurement

This is the common method, it worries about the component parts of an organisation and individual performance. The measurement system is:

  1. Task focused: measuring the internal tasks and how well staff do them.
  2. Controlling: telling employees what needs to be done and ensuring compliance.
  3. Detailed: measuring every input, ensuring a full picture, leaving nothing to chance.
  4. Target driven: using SMART goals so that there is no debate about what good looks like.
  5. Incentivised: to be sure the measurement system drives results it includes financial incentives.

Method 2: Macro Measurement

The road less travelled, this method focuses on the interactions within a business and looks at the total system. The measurement approach is:

  1. Outcome focused: looking at what the customer wants and measuring how well the whole system delivers.
  2. Empowering: ascertaining employees’ needs and working to meet them.
  3. Holistic: focusing on the few key things that are important, showing the wood from the trees.
  4. Relative: using trend lines to make sure that everybody knows what better looks like.
  5. Capability building: to be sure the measurement drives results it results in coaching and development.

Which is the better method?

Both methods are guaranteed to give you the outcome you ask for. So which should you use? That depends on what you need to get done.

  • Do you want the components of your business to work better — your calls answered quickly?
  • Or the system to work better — your customers to have their problems resolved?

They are not the same thing.  Just remember:

What gets measured gets done

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of James Lawther – View the original post

Published On: 17th Mar 2015 - Last modified: 5th Feb 2019
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