The 10 Biggest Measurement Mistakes Managers Make
And How to Prevent Them

Using Metrics that Motivate and Scoreboards for Success
To multiply leadership time, encourage improvements, and build customer satisfaction.

Compare your answers to the quick quiz (click here) with the answers here. If you want to get an exact score, give yourself 5 points for each right answer. (That's 5 for identifying the mistake and 5 more for knowing the tool.)

Mistake #1: Lack of Data
"Something's wrong in our service department.
I'm getting a lot of complaints escalated to me."

MTM Tool: When you want to improve it, measure it.
Observed behavior improves. When people measure something, most have a knee-jerk reaction. "How can we improve it?" They are not motivated to improve mush.

Mistake #2: Letting measurements become punishments
"Our situation is different. You can't really measure it."

MTM Tool: Give your work "sports appeal" with Metrics That Motivate.
When people don't want to measure, it's usually because they fear punishment. Make it safe and encourage people to seek the truth. The facts are friendly. To make sure that metrics are safe and fun, study how various sports use measures and scoreboards to attract people.

Mistake #3: Waiting for total control.
"We can't measure it, because we don't completely control it."

MTM Tool: Measure what you influence.
Few things are under anyone's total control, so start measuring what matters to the customer that your group influences.

Mistake #4: Measuring individuals
"I want to get metrics in place so I can measure each person's productivity."

MTM Tool: Measure the team contribution.
Avoid individual measures. They drain cooperation, kill coaching each other, and make it a nasty place to work. When you measure the contribution of a meaningful team, you encourage teamwork, sharing good ideas, and high morale. Plus, people work out their own lunch and vacation schedules. The exception is the sales person, and even they don't do the best with all individual measures.

Mistake #5: Measuring the negative
"We chart absenteeism."

MTM Tool: Measure the positive.
Rather than absenteeism, measure attendance. Rather than late deliveries, on-time deliveries. And rather than minutes of down time, minutes and hours of up time.

Mistake #6: Not measuring all the vital ingredients for success.
"I know we should get out and visit some customers, but we never have time. We have to meet our numbers each week."

MTM Tool: What you measure is what you get.

Mistake #7: Forgetting to find out what the customer feels.
"Our average queue time is down to 29 seconds, so we're giving great customer service."

MTM Tool: Measure your performance and the customer's perception of it.
They are two different things, and we need both kinds of metrics. We all know there is more to satisfying a customer than a short wait.

Mistake #8: Using measures that don't motivate.
"I think we're doing a good job. We're getting a 3.2 rating on a scale of 4."

MTM Tool: Use what already attracts people: a "10" or a "100%."
People are not motivated to be a "4." Here's why. You've probably been in a gathering when someone said with admiration, "She's a 10." Or "He's a 10." You may even remember in third grade when children first started talking about "getting 100%." Since people are already motivated to reach "10" or "100," so survey on a 1 to 10 scale, and then report your findings on a 1-100% scale.

Mistake #9: Getting buried in non-essential detail.
"We sent a 2-page survey to 500 customers, and we only got back 17 responses."

MTM Tool: Keep your survey short and focused.
Keep it focused on a few vital signs. Pick five to ten indicators of overall success. Keep in mind someone being brought to an emergency room and having their vital signs checked. Even though it is only Blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, and temperature Those few vital signs tell a lot. If you shorten your survey and your response rate is still low, here's another tool. Provide a thank-you award for completing your survey. It can be very small but the right one will skyrocket your response rate.

Mistake #10: Using Mommy-Daddy metrics where a few people do all the measuring for everyone.
"We track what each group does, but they just aren't motivated."

MTM Tool: When you want people to improve it, help them measure it.
People don't argue with their own data. So help them collect it, analyze it, post it, and celebrate it.
 Any areas to improve?

Contact Us

Dru Scott Decker
Metrics That Motivate
106 Point Lobos
San Francisco, CA 94121
Phone: 415.750.1313


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