10 questions you must answer before launching a measurement program

In an excerpt from new book, measurement guru Katie Paine walks you through the steps you should take before implementing any measurement program.

Before we get into the specifics of measurement, you will need to have at hand some basic information about your organization.

Work through the following 10 questions and do your best to find the answers if you don’t know them already. What’s most important about this exercise is achieving consensus among the people who will be using and/or contributing to the measurement data you will be collecting. Getting everyone on the same page is an absolute necessity before you can begin to implement a measurement program.

Question #1: What are your objectives?

While it may seem facile and simplistic to actually put this question on the list, I am amazed at the number of people I’ve met with who cannot answer it. Or, even more frequently, they have objectives that are not measurable. You must start with a thorough understanding of your company’s or organization’s business objectives. And if they are not written down somewhere, ask your boss—you might have a very interesting conversation.

I sometimes help my clients through the process by asking them to shut their eyes and imagine that it is the end of the year, and they are celebrating enormous success: Corks are popping, champagne is flowing, and bonus checks are being passed out to everyone. What is it that they are celebrating?

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