Most of you will know that this is the first time I have published two posts on the same day. I was compelled to write this post after receiving yet another “dashboard suite” offer.
To be clear, I fully support and recommend the use of dashboards. They are excellent tools to help us manage our business. I am reminded however that we need to keep our metrics in perspective.
As their popularity continues to increase, so will the number of features, tools, and metrics that they support. As I mentioned earlier, I just received a promotion for yet another dashboard software that is capable of measuring an overwhelming number of metrics.
As I reviewed the long list of metrics a common theme was developing from the list of words used to describe them:
- Stock Out
The common theme? As I continued to review the “benefits” of measuring these metrics, I could only wonder why so many things were going wrong and the one super metric that captures all of them was missing: “The Cost of Things Gone Wrong”.
We should also be cognizant of other hidden costs such as data collection, system maintenance, and meetings. I am always concerned where metrics are not supported by actionable improvements or demonstrate sustainable and positive change over time.
As a Technologist, I am humbly reminded that the design of any system, process, product, or service precedes any measurement of its performance. Perhaps the long list of metrics is also indicative of our ability to assess potential failures and improve our designs prior to release.
Another observation was the absence of Key Performance Predictors. Using the term “speculation” to predict future performance is a good sign that Key Performance Predictors are not adequately understood, defined, or used in your organization. This is a topic for another post.
Although dashboards purport to help us manage our business, I suggest that we take the time to reflect and understand what it really means to “do it right the first time.” Barring that, let’s get it right the next time.
Until Next Time – STAY Lean!