Metrics

It’s nice to see that Fast Company agrees with me on the values and pitfalls of metrics :o)

Here’s a current Fast Company article on the “what gets measured gets done” thinking.
And here’s one I wrote a while back, and a more recent one.

Fast Company:
In fact, the jobs that are most effectively reduced to single quantities are the ones that are the most one dimensional. The broader a person’s responsibilities, the more complex and subjective the evaluation. Measures become more ambiguous. There are more stakeholders with a wider range of needs. Evaluations come at specific points in time, but there are always short-term versus long-term tradeoffs. In the face of such complexity, do you want to motivate only what is measurable?

Me:
And this is the whole point: In all organizations, much of the work done and much of the value created is unmeasured and maybe even unmeasureable. Let’s say a person has a great day, and spreads a good mood in his department. Can you measure that? No! Is it important? Certainly! It can have a significant impact on that departments productivity… So what get’s measured is not what get’s done. There’s so much else being done that has huge impact on your organization, which will never be measured. We must learn to live with this!

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