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Manage what you measure & measure what you manage

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In this world of KPI and endless spreadsheets it’s sometimes difficult to produce meaningful data, or in reality act upon the data you are producing.

There is no point in producing beautiful spreadsheets if you don’t understand the data, or simply ignore the information being recorded.

Likewise the reverse is also true, there is no point being busy in business if you cannot quantify the results you are achieving, objectively not subjectively.

You have to be careful not to micro manage and measure everything, a top line overview could be far more beneficial than drilling down to the very last point. Balance time to record and manage, verse effort and cost.

Make sure you always ask the most important question:-

‘How will we know we have achieved the desired result?’

Agree a measurement so you know if / when the goal is reached. Once you hit a predefined level you have achieved the goal and have success, this should be based around ROI Return On Investment).

All this sounds simple and forgive me if I’m teaching granny to suck eggs but I have worked with a blue chip retailer who did not have the facility to record DM (Direct Mail) voucher codes and therefore could not measure success or failure.

I also worked with a different blue chip retailer who only noticed, when they had a postal strike, how effective his DM was at driving traffic to the web. The DM was not delivered and the web figures did not have the usual spike. This shows online was recording data and not managing it, while offline was not measuring success.

To recap

  • Measure what you need (not what you don’t)
  • Use the data to manage the business
  • Record what you are managing and use the data
  • Make sure management and measurement has a benefit and ROI
  • Make the data available throughout the business, it may be more powerful than you think

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