Implementing Metrics

Implementing Metrics is the hardest aspect of the entire Process Improvement process. It is reasonably easy to determine a need for metrics – anything that can be measured and will lead to cost savings is a candidate for a metric. It is usually fairly straightforward to determine what to measure as long as the question as to what is needed has been answered correctly. Some effort may be required to get to the correct metric that measures the actual cost of any issue or failure but some experimentation can usually lead to a good approximation and it can be modified after if required. The actual measurement needs to have all the characteristics of a good measurement but that can be determined.

Implementing the metric falls into two categories – one of which we will discuss in this post and following up with the other one in the coming weeks. The two categories are:

  1. Taking the measurements.
  2. Acting on the results.

Taking the measurement

Taking the measurement assumes we have defined the need for the metric, have researched what and how we want to measure and are ready and wiling to implement. Now comes the part that affects other people and projects. It is unlikely that it is just our project or our work that will need to be measured. If it was just ours, we could have completed the measurement or simply implemented the process improvement long ago and moved on. This is now going to impact other timelines and people.

There are several steps:

  1. Determine who or what is going to be impacted
  2. Quantify the impact
  3. Anticipate the objections
  4. Prepare answers to the objections
  5. Demonstrate the benefits
  6. Win Support
  7. Start the measurement program
  8. Provide support to the people doing the measurement
  9. Publish the results
  10. Be honest about the results

If the above process is carried out correctly, not only will we get valid and useful results, we will also have support for our next measurement program. If any of these look unfamiliar give us a call and we well talk about it.

Next week: Acting on the results.

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