I’ve Got Them, But They Aren’t So Great

To celebrate November at Brighter Strategies we are giving thanks for metrics.  No, really.  In our blog series for this month we will focus on how to use metrics in your organization to implement and measure strategic plans.   Just last week Nonprofit Quarterly published a great article that we will profile in this series: Using Imperfect Metrics Well: Tracking Progress and Driving Change http://nonprofitquarterly.org/management/20701-using-imperfect-metrics-well-tracking-progress-and-driving-change.html.

Of course, you may have already noted the oxymoron in the title.  An imperfect metric?  As a faithful reader of the Brighter Strategies blog I am sure have you gathered metrics in your organization and have been making strides to gather and interpret data.  Sometimes, instead of furthering the implementation of your strategic plan, gathering metrics lead to confusion or discouragement, especially when they aren’t easily understood and applied.  Jerry Talley and Eugene Fram offer some encouragement, and a warning.

Good strategic plans begin with much research, buy-in, analysis, and planning.  These will all fall into unrealized good intentions without a measurable indication of progress.  These are the metrics that can propel a strategic plan to greatness.  There’s your warning.  Here is your encouragement – imperfect metrics such as anecdotal, subjective, interpretive or qualitative are far more desirable than none at all.  Most non-profits can’t afford to develop excellent metrics, but your stakeholders and customers can still be satisfied as long as the board evaluator and operating manager agree that the metric-gathering process is reasonable and that the metrics will be useful and trustworthy.  We will examine the possibilities and parameters in this month’s blog series.


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