In the first part of this two part series, reasons why organizations don’t measure the success were described. This second part describes the benefits of measurement and the top tips for implementing effective measurement.
What are the benefits of measuring success? These reasons build a compelling case:
- Enables focus on what is important. Focus is critical to success. (See – everyone in that direction now!) Having the right outcome measures in place and discussing what you need to do to achieve the targets you set enables true focus and prioritization.
- Drives more clarity. The journey to creating a measure helps clarify the end state (even if you don’t agree the final measure!)
- More effective meetings. Imagine meetings that are based only on reviewing the critical measures that are driving success. Having an effective long term strategic scorecard enables long process oriented meetings to transform into action oriented outcome focused meetings.
- Drives accountability. If each measure is owned by a leader who is responsible for driving progress towards the goal and who takes action depending on what the measure is describing then this is another way of creating accountability and positive results will ensue. Recognizing success becomes more visible. It is also critical to build in a supportive culture where people who are accountable feel comfortable in sharing and asking for support.
- Supports improved cross-functional teamwork. This benefit comes from developing measures together and creating a common purpose. In effective implementation good measures enables owners to ask and receive specific support to achieve goals.
What are the top tips to enable you making this journey effectively:
- Involve stakeholders in the review of measures. This simple and pragmatic tip means that measures will be useful and will drive actions. (If actions are not taken as a result of the review consider if they are valuable).
- Drive from strategy – be pragmatic in implementation. When you have developed the direction, you would like to go in, think about what this would look like from the perspective of each of your key stakeholders. Ask what would be critical to measure and start to develop measures based on these perspectives. At the same time think about what is practical, for example what is already in place or easy to collect and use these measures as a start point.
- Allow continuous refinement to reflect better insight and control. As you develop measures, set targets and collect data, check to see if the measure is meeting its purpose of moving you towards your goals. If it isn’t refine it.
- Use scorecards to drive agendas and actions as a powerful enabler of culture. If measures are not used to support culture then they are not valuable. As Warren Buffett said “Predicting rain doesn’t count. Building arks does.” If measurements are used to drive actions then you can change the way an organization works and move towards a performance and outcome driven culture.
- Measure what you can control – avoid what you can only influence.It’s important that measures are set based on what can be controlled at the right level of the organisation. If a target is not being reached the team that is reviewing can take the appropriate action.
- Be patient – automate and integrate into performance management only when you have tested your measures. Too often organizations want to move quickly to have this fully systematized into an automated scorecard and into their formalized performance management system. This should only be done once you are sure you have a stable set of measures or if you have a learning agile organisation who can quickly adapt their systems and processes. Developing the most effective long term measures takes time.
Measuring your success is not an easy journey. There are many hurdles and challenges along the way. But the benefits of achieving an organization that is focused, clear and outcome focused with meetings that are aligned to where the organization is going is worth it.
If you want to discuss how to create a scorecard that works for you – please contact me.
Thanks to Denise Moody for finding the Warren Buffett quote and Janette Thomas for her practical review and sharing some of her learnings. Thanks to PIPMG for their recent meeting on “Metrics that matter”– a great validation of these thoughts!