But, having recently endured my own personal measurement start-up ordeal (see “How I Slept My Way to Measurement Success“), it occurred to me that there are a number of pitfalls and opportunities for disappointment in the process. I thought back over many beginning measurement programs, and wrote down the most common unrealistic expectations. Here they are.
Expectation #1: You expect to have a “measurement number” that will justify your budget and answer all questions.
Reality: First, measurement isn’t a single number. Your CFO doesn’t go into the Board of Directors meeting with one number. So why would communications—made up of such myriad of different components—think it can demonstrate results with one number?
Second, measurement is a long-term process. It will take you time to identify changes and trends. Your manufacturing vice president doesn’t report on the productivity for today, he or she reports on changes in productivity month-to-month, quarter-to-quarter, and year-to-year. That’s what you’ll be doing, too.