Business Measurement

“What gets measured gets done” is a quote attributed to many people over the years. Clearly just measuring something doesn’t ensure action will take place and of course the other side of the question must be what should you measure? Not measuring anything by contrast could mean anything or nothing goes on. What are you missing, what preventative challenges or metrics are not visible to you now?

For many years in businesses across the globe the good, the bad and the ugly has been uncovered from cumulative measurement of stuff. There are two measurement options available to you, both of which are very powerful when used in the right place and the right time, one being a long-term established process, the other a personal snapshot of productivity within any given week.

  1. The Balanced Scorecard is one of the more renowned measurement methodologies, originated by Robert Kaplan and David Norton in the 1990s. Measure four key areas within your business activity, if it can’t be measured it won’t go into a balanced scorecard – Finance – Customer – Operations – Growth / Learning.

The Balanced Scorecard is said to be a conceptual framework for translating an organisation’s strategic objectives into a set of key performance indicators – yes KPI’s – these indicators measure an organisation’s progress toward achieving its vision; other indicators are maintained to measure the long-term drivers of success. Through the balanced scorecard, organisations monitor both current performance and efforts to improve processes, motivate and educate employees, and enhance information systems, the ability to learn and improve.

A standard version will have four KPIs in each of the four main criteria giving just 16 in total that over a period of time will provide evidence from which decisions, actions and redirections can be taken. And once a KPI is less relevant another will take its place.

Plenty more reading here if this overview has tweaked your interest

  1. The FAFFometer measures your time effectiveness and productivity and is a simple tool to assist your focus, productivity and in turn, your success.

Very straightforward and easy to create your own version by printing off a 5-day diary page or create a weekly diary sheet/timesheet within a spreadsheet.

Choose your own working week – Monday to Friday or whatever is appropriate for you and your business and break the time slots down into hourly or half hourly intervals. You now need some coloured pens of different colours that will reflect a different activity within your business during a standard working day. For example – blue = sales, orange = marketing, yellow = finance, black = troubleshooting and so on.

You cannot allocate red – red is for time spent FAFFing ABOUT. Red pen is used only for time spent being non-productive, doing things that don’t help you or the business, being busy but achieving nothing.

You need to be really honest with yourself when you complete your FAFFometer, it is effectively your weekly timesheet and the more honest you are, the more you will get out of the process.

How much would an extra two weeks of productive time per year make to your business or personal life? What more successes could you achieve or goals could you overcome? By reducing just 20 minutes of FAFF time every day you will gain 80 hours a year, that’s two weeks of additional time previously lost. Spread this across your company and the scope for potential positive outcomes and additional opportunities are simply huge.

There is an online version of the FAFFometer available here

Yes, there are those who measure too much and spend their live naval gazing and not achieving their personal or professional potential. Believe me there was a great deal of measurement during the training and build up to swimming the English Channel, it wasn’t a question of just rocking up and having a go. Drowning was not an option! Create your measurement metrics that will enable you to be successful more of the time most of the time!

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