Steps to Management Success – Step 112: What Gets Measured, Gets Managed

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 15th, 2010


What Gets Measured, Gets Managed

If you want to make sure that certain things get done, make sure that you have some way to measure and monitor them. Simply knowing that someone is keeping score can be a powerful incentive for those involved to measure up—and for your business to stay on track.

WHAT IT MEANS: Establish baselines and determine the data requirements to reference, measure, monitor, and verify your environmental performance and progress. Choose meaningful starting points that you can use to reference your progress. These baseline indicators may be things such as number of sales calls made per week, percentage of sales calls resulting in a sale, profit per item sold, total response to a particular direct mailing, et cetera. Make sure that your metrics are meaningful. For example, it may be nice to know that your customer service reps handle about twenty calls per hour, but that may not necessarily correlate with delivering excellent service, because some complaints or queries simply take longer to resolve.

ACTION PLAN: Decide what measurements might help you more effectively gauge the operating performance and fiscal fitness of your business. Your accounting people may be able to provide good counsel in this area—but also seek input from your staff and other managers, even those outside your company. What three things would be most useful for you to measure? What systems would have to be modified and/or implemented to track it?

EVEN BETTER: Not everything worth measuring can be boiled down to a simple number—but measure it anyway! Some managers have embraced the concept of the “balanced scorecard”—a report card that specifies and weights the various performance criteria for excellence. The worker is then periodically “graded” by his or her supervisor (and, if appropriate, his or her team colleagues). Simply making those performance criteria clear and relevant to all can be a big step toward encouraging people to walk the talk—because what’s measured is much more likely to get done.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

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