Measurement and Reporting Drives Improvement

“If you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist.”
“You cannot manage what you cannot measure.”

businessman writing graph of measurement

As a leader, you’ve probably heard many variations on these quotes. They are, to some degree, correct. Measurement does make it easier to manage something and I suppose a physical existence can be identified by some form of measurement, in most cases. Still, these perspectives never sat right with me. Last weekend, it hit me:

“Measurement and Reporting Drive Improvement.”

Human beings share a natural desire to improve, grow and win. Numbers help us see a goal and our progress toward that goal more clearly. Therefore, if we measure something and report it, we drive improvement from our natural tendencies.

Sure, there will always be the lazy. There will also be those who say, numbers reported may be adequate for many. For example, if you have 95% and the mean is 50%, why bother? You bother, because the other numbers reported state your competitor achieved 85% and increases 5% each month.

So no, I don’t think measurement alone is really about management or proof of existence. Instead, I think it’s measurement, combined with reporting, that helps us improve.

Question: What do you think? Does measurement combined with reporting naturally drive improvement? Leave a comment here.

Published by

Ben Lichtenwalner

Spreading servant leadership awareness, adoption and action with an emphasis on technology and contemporary issues.

  • Jeff Harmon

    Great post Ben. It was ironic that I received this the same day I wrote a blog post about the practice of “Plan, Track, Measure, Tweak.”

    I referred to the classic definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Without measuring, this was the trap I was falling into.

    Keep up the great work.