Measure twice and throw it away

I am a Business Intelligence guy and, to be very honest, I love to measure everything.

There is something beautiful about being able to track complex subjects and show them in simple metrics. Like how well your team may be performing versus the happiness they are feeling at work (a simple scale of 1 to 4).

I often talk about measuring every part of your system. Find small pain points and then push to improve them. But there is another part I don’t talk about that often. Once that is done, you need to throw that measurement in the garbage and find another one.

We are humans and if the goal is to change a metric we will find ways to change the metric. 

When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.

Charles Goodhart – Goodhart’s law

Metrics are good, don’t get me wrong. I still love them and I will still use them, but we should never make them our goal. If we are tracking something to improve our work, that is the goal, to improve the work and we should keep that in mind.



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