Some time ago I came across 5 interesting comments

Principles relating to the measurement of how we provide our products or services.  They came from a variety of sources but collectively are useful.  I have added some comments.

Use data to measure, monitor and control - not to blame. Remember Dr. Deming, "Wherever there is fear, there will be wrong figures." Your people will not be keen on collecting data if they feel that all you are going to do is hit them over the head with them. Without information there can be no action. It has to be the right action. Also remember another of Dr. Deming's key precepts, that 85% of problems were caused by the system, not be people.

Price's Dictum - No inspection or measurement without proper recording;   No recording without analysis; No analysis without action.   Once you have the information and it has been analysed, the required action becomes obvious.  And you wonder why you didn't do something about it before!

Do not look under street lamps - it can be tempting to settle for the data that is easy to get rather than that which is useful. (This is sometimes expressed as "Avoid using research as drunks use lamp posts - for support rather than illumination".) Certainly this data can be illuminating, but it will probably not be complete, and may not address the issues you face.

Always start by asking the questions : "What do I need to know?", and "How am I going to use that data when I get it?"  Then search for the data which will answer the first question.

Seek to use predictive measures - wherever possible move to the collection of in-process measures that will enable you to predict performance. Why - because if you know something is going to go wrong, then you can do something about it, rather than have to try and recover the situation after the time it had occurred.

Align measurement with intent and values. Ensure the measurement of processes and the business are aligned with their intent and values. What are you trying to achieve? Where do you want to go. Pretty obvious isn't it? So surely your key measures should tell you how you are going here

A final note.  Collecting the data must be relatively easy, otherwise people will soon get tired of collecting it.  So that means good systems.  And the information should be easily accessible, and available in a timely fashion.


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