“You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure”

We’ve said it before, assessment drives instruction.  With the $125 billion+ dollars spent on training each year, this instruction must be driven by careful analysis and provide real and measurable value.  Who hasn’t heard the mythological “10% of training content actually transfers to the workplace?”  When D. Georgenson wrote that rhetorical question he had no idea it was a Pandora’s box.  With much researched evidence to the contrary, training has the potential to have a powerful impact on your workforce.  But how do you ensure that your training efforts are successful?

Peter Drucker knew that you can’t manage what you don’t measure.  In fact, he defined performance measurement as the fourth basic responsibility of any manager.  This is critical to understand, manage, and improve performance.  Perhaps we are stating the obvious?  So how do we measure performance?

In Performance Improvement, Jerry Harper, PhD, breaks down the 3 D’s of successful performance measurement:

  • Design creates a model or framework of the system to be measured and develops appropriate metrics needed for subsequent measurement purposes
  • Data is the actual input or metrics to the performance measurement system and ensures quality
  • Display expresses the data in the design, often in a graphical dashboard

We will look at each of these elements throughout our ongoing series.  Have you attempted to measure your organization’s performance?  In what areas, and how did you undertake this measurement?


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