Have Metrics, Now Measure
With metrics in place, the next piece in the productivity puzzle is measurement.
Measurement is the step that leads to the level of control that is required to achieve gains in productivity. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it!
The ways in which measurement will be done should be one of the early steps in the planning for any productivity initiative. Measurement and reporting needs to be set before any action is taken. Having the measurement and reporting process in place at the beginning provides support to everyone involved.
Regular measurement and properly timed reporting is essential to goal achievement. It also alerts managers to make changes when results are missing the targets.
To do this, measurements need to be taken frequently and at critical milestones in the process.
Transforming the strategy into reality
The single most important element in any strategy is its translation into reality. The only true measure of success is in the execution. Individuals executing their tasks and activities with the organizations goals in mind.
A strategy for productivity improvement is made real by the metrics and measurement of results.
Common goals bring about common culture. What we say is strategy. What we do is culture! Getting strategy and culture aligned makes the difference between success and a failure.
And the challenge to managers is that culture wins over strategy. Culture eats strategy for breakfast – lunch – and dinner.
Without alignment, the best strategic plan will never be fully achieved
Have you ever watched the rowing eights event? Now, think about the performance of the top teams – what do you see? Nine people (eight rowing and the coxswain) working together to achieve their goal. Crossing the finish line first!
The fact is that business organizations compete in a global race and must content with many more disruptive influences than a rowing eight. Many business leaders all to frequently only deal with the changes in the external environment and find little time focus on aligning strategy and culture.
Metrics, measurement and reporting not only makes strategy real, it aligns the culture.
Continuously improving productivity can be a strategic advantage to every business. Fundamental to achieving gains in productivity is a culture of continuous improvement. Metrics, measurement and reporting makes the strategy real and aligns culture and strategy.
In most cases, culture is the only sustainable differentiation between organizations. With today’s level of access to information, almost anyone can uncover and emulate a competitor’s strategy. However, their culture can’t be replicated. Culture is a unique aspect of every organization.