“What gets measured gets done.”
That axiom, often attributed to uber-business guru Tom Peters, has been repeated in so many business books that it’s easy to skim right past it. But let’s take a moment to consider it.Measurement in and of itself doesn’t ensure progress. However, assessment is the first step toward action. To use another analogy, a doctor must diagnose a patient’s condition before prescribing a remedy.
When you collaborate on a project, measurement can be used to ensure that things are done. By communicating to your team that they will be held accountable for their contributions — that is their contributions will be measured — you invoke an adapted precept of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle: the act of observing something irrevocably changes it. In other words, if your team knows that someone is watching, each of them will be more likely to delivery the goods.
That accountability includes the team leader — this means you. Just because you’re overseeing a project doesn’t relieve you of measuring your own performance. An integral part of setting project expectations is laying out the accountability criteria — here’s what’s expected and here’s how performance will be measured against those expectations. By building a strong foundation at the outset of a project, you’ll set the tone for a successful collaboration.