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The Six Disciplines Blog

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Top 10 Reasons To Measure Results

The need for measurement may seem obvious, however, more often than not, it’s overlooked as being unnecessary by many leaders of small and midsized organizations.

Let’s look at the top 10 reasons why your organization needs to measure its results:

  1. Measurement clarifies expectations. Measures are a the most transparent and clear means to communicate expectations to employees.
  2. Measurement directs behavior. Most employees consciously or unconsciously operate on the following assumption: “tell me how you’ll measure me, and I’ll tell you how I’ll behave.”
  3. Measurement increases objectivity. Measurement is essential to “managing by fact” – otherwise you are left to lead with charm and personality.
  4. Measurement makes performance visible. If it’s not being measured, it simply can’t be managed.
  5. Measurement focuses attention. When people are faced with so many competing priorities for their time and activities, what is measured tends to get their attention – particularly when it is linked to a recognition/reward system.
  6. Measurement promotes consistency. Unmeasured systems tend to be highly variable systems, with all the negatives for quality that implies.
  7. Measurement facilitates feedback. Feedback in the form of timely, relevant measures is the basic navigational device of any individual or organization.
  8. Measurement improves decision-making. One of the major causes of failure in decision-making is poor or non-existent use of data. One accurate measure can be worth a thousand opinions.
  9. Management promotes understanding. Quality guru W. Edwards Deming thought that systematic process measurement led to the “profound knowledge” that was essential to top quality outcomes.
  10. Measurement improves execution. As former Allied Signal CEO and co-author of Execution Larry Bossidy has remarked “when I see companies that don’t execute, the chances are high that they don’t measure.”
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Since 2005, the Six Disciplines blog offers posts about performance excellence, strategy execution, business coaching, leadership development, innovation, and business process improvement. This blog has received prestigious awards for leadership and management and has been syndicated by several major media sources.