- Created: Sunday, 26 February 2012 18:06
- Published: Sunday, 26 February 2012 18:06
- Written by David DeCiero
Measuring is a key function to understand how well a specific initiative is performing.This step is sometimes given short shrift, leading to an inaccurate calculation of the outcome of the initiative.It is critical in the planning stages of the initiative that some attention is given to how it will be measured.This way, we can determine whether we should continue with the plan, change it, or stop it altogether.
It is very important to identify relevant metrics when embarking on a new initiative.This upfront thinking will set the stage for collecting the appropriate information to determine the progress towards the goal.Unfortunately, what we have seen in the past is that there is a rush to implement the new idea and see what happens.When doing this, it usually comes down to a hunch as to whether or not the plan actually worked or not.Also, people tend to choose metrics that may have nothing to do with the thing being changed or are too broad.The problem arises when poor metric selection convinces you to continue on a path incorrectly, or causes you to cancel a seemingly ineffective plan.It is obviously very important to understand how to choose and execute relevant metrics to accurately measure the progress of an initiative.
Every plan that you come up with has some goal.The goal is a qualitative statement indicating what you want to achieve in the plan.It is important to make these as specific as needed for the initiative being planned.The next step is to identify the metrics that will be used to measure the progress towards the goal.The metrics must be relevant to the plan to accurately capture whether the plan is working correctly.The method and ease of collecting the data must also be spelled out at this point.There is no point in selecting a metric that would cost too much or would be impossible to collect.(One person once suggested we measure the proportion of spirits in a person’s home bar bought from one store.Unless we got a lot of invites to people’s homes, this would be difficult to collect).More than one metric can be chosen based on the complexity of the goal.Now that we have the metrics, we have to identify targets for those metrics.That is, at what number does each metric indicate success?Now that this planning is completed, you are ready to begin.Now, when the plan kicks off you can be reassured that you will be accurately capturing the progress of the initiative.