What Gets Measured Gets Managed

It’s a New Year! A clean calendar. A fresh set of 365 days to do something different. I’ve never been one for resolutions at the turn of the new year. If a change needs to be made, do it today!  At least, that’s been my justification for avoiding the commitment of a New Year’s resolution. However, an unflattering, humor-filled, pun-riddled Facebook post at the close of 2017 just might change my tune. 

A former manager of mine loved the phrase “what gets measured, gets managed,” and I’ve always intuitively related to that. After all, I’ve developed my career by providing insight and structure to help others manage their business. This year, however, that phrase has a newer, more personal meaning.

A year ago, I joined my wife in a measurement exercise. She was working with a personal trainer and started using My Fitness Pal. I joined her in solidarity. For her, it was more about the actual outcome of healthier living. For me, it was a chance to collect and analyze data! For the first four months of the year, I managed to make steady progress on my weight. But gradually, the burden of tracking all those calories and the desire to get to the gym started to fade. I still felt healthy. I thought I was active enough. Fast forward to December 2017.

What started as a fun evening out with my oldest son turned into social media humor that initiated some self-reflection. At the second intermission of a Columbus Blue Jackets hockey game, my son and I were on the prowl for doughnuts. It was the perfect way to cap off two hot dogs and a box of popcorn. It took a couple attempts, and after we finally found a stand that hadn’t sold out, I received this unflattering picture from my hockey-loving brother who was watching the game on TV (me in the center, my son close behind). It was posted to Facebook, and hilarity ensued. A walrus meme was posted. A friend welcomed me to “the belly club.”

Matt Snow and his son at the Columbus Blue Jackets game

Well, the camera adds 10-15 pounds, right? And there’s the lighting! But OK, let’s check the facts. So today, January 20, I decided to step on the scale.

Yep. Not only did I lose all the progress I made, but then some. I was able to drop nearly 15 pounds in less than four months. I gained over 20 in the following eight.

A chart of weight loss and weight gain when using a fitness tracker

So, what does this actually have to do with analytics or your business? I believe that customer experience and businesses are getting more complex with the proliferation of platforms, devices, and the ways customers and brands can interact. How do you know what to measure? What drives decisions?

What gets measured gets managed. So it's important to carefully chose the metrics by which you run the business. This way, you can communicate successes and opportunity to the organization.

I will dive deeper into this in 3 following posts:

  • Selecting the right metrics
  • Establishing the measurement framework and a data roadmap
  • Setting goals & adjusting behavior

Maybe you feel it’s too late this year, goals have been set and budgets allocated.  I can assure you, it’s never too late. I will explain how you can increase your chances of delivering on your team’s annual goals by following this process. Most business, and diet, decisions aren’t made with negative expectations, they are more likely a result of a lack of consistent focus on a clear goal.

If you can’t wait for the articles, feel free to reach out, and we can help ensure your behaviors are being measured and judged against progress to the main goal.

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