Success measurement – measure what you manage
We all know there are many ways to achieve the same outcome; there is just no right or wrong when it comes to these things, I mean if something is working for you why change? Moreover, if something is not working for you just being open to new information might be enough to help you put the pieces of the puzzle together enabling you to implement a success management program.
How do you accurately measure your community development and business success and keep track of progress towards achieving the stakeholder aspirations? Examine your vision, mission, objectives and strategies to determine which outcomes the community believes are essential. Now, make these items your critical success measurements.
Never ignore the ‘blood pressure’ of the community and its businesses.
If you regularly monitor, measure and evaluate critical aspects of the community, and leverage the metrics it puts you in a much stronger position to control outcomes in a more timely fashion.
The metrics you should be looking at are the ones which lead to growth and sustainability and are most likely to have the most significant positive impact. Short-term success measurements are essential, but long-term measurements are the most crucial.
Your success measurements should be tracking improvements in operational efficiency, community services, and finances. These metrics will assist in your problem-solving and decision-making. Success measurements aid continuous improvement and help focus stakeholders and resources on the priorities.
Focus success measurement on what is working well
Fixing problems is one thing but measuring critical aspects of performance will have a far more significant impact. Which marketing initiatives and strategies are working best? Know which ones are failing so they can either be adjusted or replaced quickly. Not down the track when your financial reports or some external force indicate there is a problem.
To determine which success measurements are useful, you should ask two fundamental questions.
- What are the objectives of each success measurement?
- What factors will help you achieve each objective?
Your measurements should be able to be quantified regarding quantity, quality, time, or cost. Start with four or five success measurement metrics and only add new ones as people become comfortable with each one’s relevance.
Be selective in your success management
Be careful not to overwhelm with too much new information, irrespective of its importance. A gradual improvement is far better than enthusiastic overkill. Your critical success measurements might include some of the following:
- Financial viability. Revenue, and cash flow
- Community member satisfaction. Customer service and the customer experience
- Employee and volunteer satisfaction. Morale, performance, turnover
- Workplace health and safety. Healthy people equal a healthy community
- Operational outcomes. Key production bottlenecks and logistics.
Many managers are frequently over-confidence in their judgments when it comes to success management. Their information and knowledge are often at odds with reality. Most people, for example, regard themselves as better-than-average drivers, but the outstanding drivers rely on their metrics and dashboards.
Those who link non-financial success measurements and value creation stand a better chance of improving outcomes. Ask employees and volunteers to identify the specific activities which should be measured to help achieve better results using success measurement.
“What’s measured improves”. Peter Drucker
“It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, and how they’re led”. Steve Jobs