It’s important to measure what matters. It’s even more important to know what actually matters. As Yogi Berra said, “We’re lost, but we’re making good time!” Before we measure, it pays to ask what we’re measuring and why. After we measure, we have to know what step to take next.
Personally and professionally, we’ll encounter all sorts of measurement problems. Some will be qualitative and others will be quantitative. People have specific goals that need to be reached. They range from corporate revenue targets to personal target weights. None of these exist in a vacuum. The sales targets apply beyond this immediate period and the target weight applies towards a healthy lifetime. We don’t want to be exclusively watching the clock when we should also be watching the map.
By figuring out what to measure and why, we can help find alignment between what matters and what action to take. This is where value is created. Everything is a trip nested on a longer journey. We shouldn’t assume that just because one thing is being reported it’s the data that actually matters most. Take the time to listen and look for context.
The more we know about the big picture, the easier it is to explain how each piece of the puzzle fits. Know what matters first, figure out a way to measure it second. Progress will follow.