We measure results. We measure profit, shipments, and reliability.
The measures or metrics help us determine if we’re meeting out goals if something bad or good is happening, if we need to alter our course.
We rely on metrics to guide our business decisions.
Sometimes, our metrics obscure, confuse or distort the very signals we’re trying to comprehend.
Here are five metric based mistakes I’ve seen in various organizations. Being aware of the limitations or faults with these examples may help you improve the metrics you use on a day to day basis. I don’t always have a better option for your particular situation, yet using a metric that helps you make poor decisions, generally isn’t acceptable.
We select the beige sweater because we have a color bias concerning our sweaters.
Many of our biases help us quickly make decisions. We rely on biases to move through the day. Many of our biases are under the surface, unconsciously guiding our daily decisions. Mostly, biases are good or at least inconsequential.
When conducting a Human Reliability Assessment (HRA) we use the terminology: errors of commission or errors of omission. It behoves every professional to question why we focus upon one metric in preference to all others, in an objective and constructive manner in order to discern whether we are exposing our organization to errors of professional omission or commission. Obviously the other conclusion is that we are doing the right thing and this is also an empowering piece of knowledge. Continue reading Shaping Organizational Behavior→