Continuous Improvement

Measure and It Gets Done

by Joe Aherne

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What gets measured gets done because you are paying attention to it and gathering information you need to achieve your goal. The information you collect helps you understand the current state of the process, making it easier for you to make decisions to improve it. When you measure, it is important to measure only what is aligned with your business priorities (key metrics) as, “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”

Why Measure?

It is important to measure critical data (key metrics) and to measure it correctly. Once you understand your current state you will be better positioned to enhance organizational performance. More so, you can’t optimize what you don’t measure. Thus, it is important to measure critical data, essential information that serves as a baseline for improvement initiatives. Measuring also gives you a true picture of current performance levels, giving you an opportunity to learn from both failures and successes and embark on a continuous improvement journey.

Key Metrics

1. Quality

This is a key metric whether your organization is service or product based. Measurement of the quality of your deliverable is important as it reflects the effectiveness of your systems, processes and/or equipment. If the quality of your service is poor it means you have to improve your method of delivery and if your product is of bad quality it means your equipment is not working at an optimal level, leaving room for improvement.

2. Time

Reducing the amount of time needed to create a product or deliver a service is essential to saving an organization time and money. Thus, measuring time taken to complete tasks is an effective way to determine the throughput of a process and how that impacts the budget.

3. Finance

This metric determines whether your effort is amounting to positive financial returns or not. Most businesses are profit based and measure their success by how much profits they make. Thus, it is essential for an organization to measure the return of its investment from time to time to ensure it is meeting one of its key goals, profitability. A low return of investment is a sign that the organization performance is subpar and could benefit from continuous improvement initiatives.

4. Employee Feedback

Providing feedback to an employee without ways to track progress does not yield results. To effect improvement, the organization has to provide feedback and measure change.

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Joe Aherne

CEO of Leading Edge Group

Joe qualified as a Certified Public Accountant in 1982. It was a decision that reaped great benefits for Joe, providing him with an international recognized qualification which allowed him to follow in his father and grandfathers’ footsteps who had both worked and lived abroad. Having qualified as a CPA, Joe took up financial positions in the Middle East and UK.

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