Now more than ever, is the time to Measure What Matters.Ishmael Dube
Now more than ever, is the time to measure what matters.
A lot of organisations start out with the right intentions when they set out to introduce some sort of performance measurement. They want to track metrics which help drive organizational objectives and achieve their goals. This however ends up being a tedious process of tracking a multitude of metrics, most of which add little or no value. So why do organisations fail to measure performance correctly? Taking a quote from accomplished investor John Doerr in his book Measure what matters “We must realize—and act on the realization—that if we try to focus on everything, we focus on nothing.” It is the trap of trying to measure everything and then ending up measuring nothing which organisations must avoid.
Know your Why
The first step to measuring what matters is to first know your “why”. Knowing your “why” is simply knowing your purpose or mission. This guiding principle is what helps your organisation prioritise effort, resources and focus. Google’s purpose or mission for example is to “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” This purpose or mission helps Google select the things they need to say NO to. Microsoft’s original purpose was to put a PC on every desk which they have largely achieved. Starting with your “WHY” especially in this pandemic is so important because there is limited resources and will help you understand what you need to focus on in order to not only survive but thrive in this environment.
What are your Objectives
Once you have bedded down your “WHY”, you now need to focus on your objectives which represent your “WHAT”. Your objectives must be specific and if possible timebound. Objectives help organisations narrow down their focus to what they want to achieve. A good example of a clear objective is what YouTube defined in 2012. The objective was to “Reach 1 billion hours of watch time per day by 2016”. This objective helped their engineering, product development, marketing and other teams to focus their efforts the clearly define objective.
Have a Process for tracking
The third and final step is to define how you are going to go about achieving your objectives. How you will achieve your objectives also determines what you are going to measure. This is normally where organisations just lose it, they try to have too many KPI’s/ Key results/Measures. It is important that what we measure at the “how” stage is not a check or task list but simply key metrics which helps us achieve our objectives. You can build you check or tasks list from the key metrics but not vice versa. Examples of key metrics can be best seen in the example below which combines all aspects of this article.
|Purpose||Why||To help users increase productivity by digitizing manual workforce processes|
|Objective||What||To conduct more than 30 online demonstrations to prospects who are using manual workforce processes|
|Key Metrics||How||1. Find the prospects using manual workforce processes – Send out 1000 Outbound e-mail
2. Ensure that our topic or subject line is relevant to our prospects – 500 people opened the e-mail
3. Ensure our message is clear – 200 e-mail responses
4. Ensure our solution solves the prospects problem – 30 number of demonstration meetings set
The example above shows us that we can easily measure what matters when we clearly think about our purpose, objective and then define clearly how we will achieve our objectives. By measuring only four things we can easily achieve our objective of conducting 30 online demos to prospects which in turn helps us achieve our purpose.
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