I'm a true believer that there are many ways to skin a cat when it comes to solving business problems. Measurements and metrics for operations, however, are something that I'm borderline on being religious about. I was recently hired by a COO to diagnose the breakdown of a customer service operation for a Series C carve-out/venture deal. For this company, I discovered that a big problem throughout the organization was a lack of metrics, an executive dashboard, and time-series view of data. Had headquarters and regional management been looking at the same picture of the business, it would have been much easier to see the decline in service, turnaround time, etc. as it related to other controllable factors in the business (such as introduction of a new, less efficient IT platform). In addition to making recommendations on implementing a new measurements system, I had made the recommendation for the company to look for a new rock star, good lieutenant, and proactive person for running the customer service show, especially coming off a year of service decline. I suggested that numerous managers be involved in placing such a key position, and I also volunteered to interview people for the slot.
In any case, measurements are close to sacred to me. I've blogged about it in the past, and I expect I will continue to do so in the future.
Then Seth Godin shows me that there's another way to look at things and that one can scrap measurements. I hate that, but he's right.
Managing Director, S4 Management Group