I have often pushed back when someone suggested we measure something.
What’s this? Why?
Yes, yes, we need to measure some things. But most of the time, the suggestions are to measure:
A. The wrong things
B. The right things in th wrong way
This happens a lot with training programs. Senior leaders want to see results. Trainers ought to want that too. But too often, the methods we use to measure training’s effectiveness are poor and costly. In one case, the cost of measuring the training was higher than the training costs.
Measurement is not the panacea. Many goals are useless. Don’t waste your and your people’s time creating metrics that don’t make a difference or help you run the business. How many reports do you look at? Does the information really make a difference or is it just interesting? Now think of the effort that goes into generating these reports – is it worth it? Are you evaluating success correctly?
It’s Monday – try this. Assess all the reports generated and get rid of at least two that don’t measure up. Think of the work and hassle you will reduce! It’s a great way to get the week started.
Adrian over a Slow Leadership offers this meaty post on the topic. Here’s a snippet:
As a result of this kind of statistical idiocy, people find themselves facing impossible goals, even as their organizations raise market expectations that they are wholly incapable of fulfilling, however hard they drive their people forward. What´s even worse is that people truly do try their hardest to meet the objectives set for them. As W. Edwards Deming said, people with sharp enough targets will probably meet them even if they have to destroy the company to do so.