Tuesday, February 16, 2010

If You Can't Measure It, You Can't Manage It

Change Metrics seem to be hot. What's the deal?

"If you can't measure it, you can't manage it." That mantra is as good today as when first spoken. But with regard to change, what do we measure? 

  • Change Impact - We make a change is our organization to have an impact. We can measure the impact of a change in two ways:
    1. Change in results - simply stated, we measure an output (Widgets/hour, cost per man hour, etc.) before a change ... we measure an output after we make a change ... and we compare the two. The difference shows the impact of the change we made.
    2. Change in means - simply stated, we can measure the impact of a change upstream of a result. We measure the flow at machine station four before a change and after the change and compare the two to get a read on the impact of change on one key step in producing a widget.
  • Change Progress - We initiate a change in an organization and we want to measure our progress in making the change. The three classic ways of measuring project work here. We can measure our progress on our change project by looking at:
    • Degree of completion
    • Schedule (Actual vs. planned) and
    • Cost (Actual vs. planned)

For example, at a moment in time in our project to increase the flow at machine station four we might be:

    • 60 % complete
    • 2 days ahead of schedule
    • $3,000 over our change budget
  • Bottom Line: Don't get the measures mixed up. Don't give a "change project manager" the metric of "widgets per hour" or her will be tempted to jump in and help make widgets ... rather than completing his change project (e.g., installing a production machine modification) ...on target, on time, and on budget.


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