Measure with care!

Two old adages say “Measurement creates understanding” and “You get what you measure”.   

The first is self-explanatory – if you want to understand a situation, measure it, once you know how mant/much, when, at what rate and at what quality levels things happen, you can take sensible decisions about processes.

The second adage implies that measuring things changes the behaviour of those associated with those things – when they realise what you think is important (because you are measuring it) they will give you more of that measured factor – but perhaps at the expense of other important things which either you are not measuring or they do not know you are measuring.

The lesson is that measurement is important – it does indeed help you understand  what is going on … and helps you work out why. But if you measure the wrong things, you might get changed behaviours that you had not planned to, and do not want.

So measure – but be careful what and how you measure.

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