For a large number of enterprise shenanigans, Metric creation, collection and measurement can sometimes become a way of life ! They do not really care what the metric destroys, the impact on the human behavior and how these Metrics are simply — USELESS ! The typical story line has been made famous by the myth around –
WHAT YOU MEASURE IS WHAT YOU GET !
(chasing the WYSWIG rainbow made popular from Wintel era)
and then this is supported by, You can Measure ANYTHING, which simply simmers the already hot embers.
But we need to watch for Albert Einstein’s quote – “Not everything that counts can be counted. And not everything that can be counted counts”
But the real question to ask is –
Do you really need to measure <fill in your favourite metric here>?
Have you ever wondered how the intelligent folks will react when they hear that they are being measured on this metric ?
What will you do as a sane individual ?
Will you ignore this metric if you know someone is tracking and watching this metric? especially if you are caught in the day job cycle, and your promotion depends upon improving this metric?
The answers can range from subservient YES to timid agreement mostly.
But what we are really looking for when thinking of a metric is changing behavior, so that it provides feedback to ignite the FIRE within the individual, within our organization.
So if you are thinking about introducing a new metric, think Twice !! Even if you still insist that you really need this metric, then don’t make THE Metric your GOD, which needs to be fed, but instead make it a Servant for yourself, for your team ! and use the metric as a feedback to improve your condition, your team’s current state and move towards your target state.
Do share your stories on – What has been your most scary metric? Which metric you hated ? Which metric made you do the opposite ?
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