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METRICS Are Good For You

METRIC TABLE Whatever your line of work, business or lifestyle, METRICS are good for you because they can help you improve YOUR PERFORMANCE!

This sounds a bit like “Vegetables are good for you” – something my mum always said when I turned up my nose at all the ‘rabbit food’ on my plate!

Of course, once grown up you see the world of food and all things good for you in a totally different light… or do you?

One thing for sure is that before the age of, say, 30 we have to consider the perils of not listening to our elders when they tell us what is good for business and a happy life. So, whether it is work or lifestyle (or both), we find it necessary to at least LISTEN to some sound advice.

Metric imagesImproving your performance at work is bound to help your organisation, it could therefore help you gain promotion and a pay-rise, plus all the other benefits flowing from it… or is that a joke these days!!?

Improving your business is, without doubt, a positive move. Common sense tells you that any hike in your revenue or profits is good for share-holders and the bottom line. Metrics can also be used to improve the lot of customers, so it’s good news overall.

Lifestyle is not something we often associate with Metrics but the truth comes out when you apply a few measurements to what you have in your life, plus what you would like to have in the future.

What are METRICS?

BIG BEN Not Biggest BUT BESTMetrics are the measurements of any aspect of a variable ANYTHING! Yes, you can measure anything if you are interested enough to do it – particularly for reasons of improved performance.

Sometimes BIG is best… PROFIT for example. Other times BIG is very bad, as in the case of noise or pollution. BIG BEN is not necessarily the biggest but it may be the best!

So, what’s it to be, bigger or smaller, shorter or longer (as in time), even sweeter or more sour… whatever you have to measure, think about setting up a regular measurement, choose a METRIC e.g. TIME and let’s get started.

Think of ANY SUBJECT… A cup of tea; your children; LOVE; the weather; your sense of smell; Can Happiness Be Measuredchopsticks; the number of words in a book; the colour of your hair; the taste or texture of your sandwich; thoughts; dreams; teeth; tiredness; the Internet… even faith (possibly not God!).

OK, now think of how you could measure any, or all, of the examples I have just suggested. What about ‘Happiness’ of this proud mother piggy of seven…  or is it eight?>>>

The next step in our world of continuous progress is to choose an appropriate metric to apply to your subject. Clearly, it might be a bit of a challenge when cooking your lunch to finely adjust the TEMPERATURE of your oven (to plus or minus 1 or 2 degrees) over a ten minute period.. Instead, a better METRIC might be TIME while keeping your oven at a fixed temperature. What an easy way to improve the taste of your meal! All I’m saying is, it might be easier to adjust the time of cooking compared with the temperature of the cooker.

Cricket metricsAnyway, how can you improve your level of satisfaction if you don’t know your current level or score? Think of cricket (lovely game) – Runs scored; Overs played; Time taken, these METRICS all add up to an exciting game of measurements.

By measuring your current performance and selecting the easiest (otherwise best) METRIC to do it, you can repeat your performance test and KNOW if you are making a difference, positive, negative or nothing at all.

The corporate world (globally) has latched onto this method of continuous improvement.  Organisations swear by the METRIC as a way of boosting Quality in products and services. That’s why it is a great model to copy and apply to your own world of work, business and lifestyle – it works for everything!

My own experience working as a Quality Consultant, teaching the METRIC method to corporate UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa was that they couldn’t get enough of the stories I told – true stories of financial and efficiency gains beyond their wildest dreams. True stories of customer satisfaction and the savings in time and process complexity. We made every process stand the test of its own METRIC, helping every step of the process and every person involved with it to work smarter.

PRESIDENT OVER TIMESo, let’s look at your business. What could you do to improve the outcomes of each day’s trading? What is important in your business and what are the contributing factors leading up to those important things? Each element can be examined and measured with a suitable METRIC. Common sense tells us that anything changes over time… Presidents, perception, even time itself. If you take an interest in measurement, you can find the most suitable set of metrics to serve your need… it can be lots of fun, as you can see from the transition of presidents above!

Then, each METRIC can be used to assess whether or not your performance is the same, better or worse, month on month. It won’t take a brain surgeon to work out what made the changes and what needs to be done in the future. Again, my experience shows that people who bother to measure things of importance, discover that there is a gradual improvement EVEN without trying… any ideas as to why?

It’s amazing how the human brain takes over once it is given a convincing, true story. The only fly in the ointment is … dare I call it laziness? Some folk don’t bother to apply themselves, even when they know what to do, how to do it, and why? Hey, is there a METRIC FOR ‘LAZY’?

How about you having a go at what I have suggested?

Please note that the examples below are purely to show you that ANYTHING can be measured and, therefore, improved

1. Find something in your life that you would really like to improveMISS YOU HOW MUCH

2. Think it over for a while and possibly split (whatever it is) into different parts.

e.g. “I Miss You” will split into

(A) WHAT YOU MISS and

(B) HOW OFTEN YOU MISS whatever it is that you miss!

Each section can be further split down into sub sections (A1), (A2) etc for further analysis and improvement.

It’s fun to discuss a subject like this and it can be fun to measure too!

Why not select the sub section of “I miss your cooking”?

3. Ask yourself how you could measure each part… Think of a METRIC:

*Time to cook,

*Speed to serve

*Size of dinner

*Quality of taste

*Quantity of favourite vegetables or sauce

*Cost etc.

4. WRITE DOWN the current measurement

e.g. Amount of money you wasted last week on eating out when you could have stayed at home to enjoy the company of your partner (and her/his wonderful cooking!)… = $159

5. Think about it all through next week and then measure the same thing in the same way again.

Guess what?  You will waste less money, week on week and month on month, if you have developed a genuine interest in measuring it!!    TRY IT, it’s FREE to measure!

REMEMBER… YOU CAN’T IMPROVE WHAT YOU CAN’T MEASURE!!

** CONTINUE THE FUN – Measure your income and then… 

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Harry Wright

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email: harywright43@gmail.com

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Harry Wright FIIE   MCIPD  Business Leadership

Enabling Business Owners to Innovate and Grow

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