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The Risk of 'What Gets Measured Gets Managed'

I love the phrase 'what gets measured gets managed', it is so apt.

There is a downside to this phrase, however, and I saw it in action again last week.

One of my clients had a real issue with one of their business processes, it was under performing and causing a tangible knock on effect for the rest of the business.

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They had already looked at their process, developed a metric to help measure the performance and, as the saying goes, it got managed.

At the same time this team took their eye off the ball with another one of their key processes and that started to go downhill.

We put a measure in place for the other process, established a degree of formality around their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) - of which there were now two - and balanced out the management of the processes.

So, what is the lesson here?

Make sure that the team are measuring all of their key processes before the change is about to start.

In this case they weren't really measuring their processes, let alone reporting and managing against them. Their focus on one area pulled their performance to one side and caused a new problem.

Make sure that you balance out your measures / KPIs before you embark on any serious continuous improvement activities.


All the best,

Giles




About the author Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes. Giles is also the author of Business Process Re-Engineering and creator of the 'Making It Happen' continuous improvement toolkit.

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