How effective is your organization at implementing effective measurement practices?

SmartPulse -- our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership -- tracks feedback from more than 220,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

How effective is your organization at implementing effective measurement practices?

  • Very -- we’re rigorous about the measurement methods we use: 8.1%
  • Mostly -- sometimes we’re not as effective as we could be: 35.6%
  • Not very -- we’re only disciplined when measuring major metrics: 34.1%
  • Not at all -- we’re terrible in our measurement practices: 22.3%

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. The next time the 56% of you who don’t measure things well are unhappy with how your organization is performing, please remember this poll. You can’t manage, let alone improve, things you don’t measure. Don’t go out and measure indiscriminately though. Clearly define the desired business outcome, identify the best measure of how you’re performing on activities related to that outcome, and stick to a focused set of metrics to track your progress. When you do measure, remember to answer the five key measurement questions:

  1. What’s the measurement’s purpose?
  2. What data source will you use?
  3. How will you calculate the metric?
  4. How frequently will you measure?
  5. Who will review the measure?

If you can answer these questions clearly, you should have a meaningful metric to monitor.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He's the author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."