Measurement for improvement is the stepping stone for any success
Whatever you’re up to Measurement for improvement is the key to achievement. Or, the other way around: if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.
This time of the year many people start to think about the new year resolution for next year. It can be anything from losing weight to starting up your own business as an independent entrepreneur. Whatever it will be, all resolutions to convert into a success story has one thing in common. You must be able to measure the process to at least have the chance to succeed. Measurement for improvement is the fundamental ingredient to any success.
As a passionate marathon runner and online marketer and entrepreneur, the measurement for improvement has been so crucial that any new plan worth the effort, must be measurable to even get my attention. In an earlier article where the famous S.M.A.R.T. formula is analyzed, the measurability is the key to all success.
During the journey and with all the synergy experiences between my running and entrepreneurship, I have found that measurement for improvement doesn’t make much sense unless the following three steps are included in one way or another.
Visibility is the Basis of Measurement for Improvement
There is a saying going like this:
“Goals should be like mountains; high but visible.”
Before even starting to measure what you’re doing, you must be crystal clear on what you’re going to measure. New year resolutions use to be good examples of what a goal shouldn’t look like.
For example, “During next year I will be a better father or mother,” or “I will start exercise to get rid of some kilos.” What do these promises actually promise? Well, in fact, nothing. They are very vague promises or goals, and most probably the persons who made the statements do not know either what they really want to do.
Instead, if the goal is something like “During next year I will be present at my son’s soccer training every Saturday, and doing my very best to encourage him in what he’s doing.”, or “Next year I will get rid of 20 kilos by applying a training method X.”
Now, we get tangible goals that at the end can be measured.
When I started my marathon training 10 years ago, I put a goal to run my first marathon below 4 hours and 30 minutes. It was a goal I found realistic after studying the corresponding training program. It was not an easy task, but the “mountain was visible.” I did my first marathon on 4 hours and 20 minutes, so the goal and the process worked out as planned.
If my goal setting had been a time below three hours, the only thing I had achieved in that case should be to cheat myself.
Think about the visibility before you even go for measurement for improvement. First thing first, and do not try to “impress” yourself by setting unrealistic goals.
Numbers and Nothing Else but Numbers
Once you start to measure, it’s all about numbers. How would you measure weight loss, running performance, business development or whatever you can imagine, if not with numbers? A kilo is a kilo, a minute is a minute, and a dollar is a dollar. The good thing with numbers is that they all are definite. No-one can argue that Number 5 is something else than number 5.
With your plan put in place, it’s easy to measure by numbers the development along the way. Sometimes it all goes super well, and sometimes there can be hurdles slowing down the speed. If you don’t use the numbers to measure, you will not even be clearly aware of your real performance.
When starting up my online business, my startup budget was almost written in stone. Every single day, the investments made and the ones to come followed the budget numbers the same way an airplane follows its exact route controlled by the airplane computer and autopilot.
Of course, there are upcoming moments you haven’t foreseen, and you need to make adjustments in your budget. However, it’s always a number’s game. No matter what you’re going to measure, there is still a number behind. When training for my first marathon, I used a ready-made program made by a professional coach, aiming for a finish time between 4: 15 and 4:30. With discipline, motivation, and passion the program was made correctly the 300 days the training program last. The advantage by using a program or a plan is that you can measure your performance along the way and if necessary making corrections or adjustments.
The number’s game goes the same way for my business as well as my marathon training. Measurement for improvement is all about how you manage your numbers.
Accountability Closes the Circle of Efficient Measurement for Improvement
The last but essential part for efficient measurement for improvement is the accountability. Your visible goal setting and the excellent way you measure your numbers are worth nothing without being accountable. In life, you are surrounded by multiple external variables that can influence your final result in one way or another. To be accountable means that you are 100% accountable for what you’re doing no matter how external circumstances change.
Among other things accountability includes to be awake, aware of and to prevent for external influences that eventually can result in a game changer for you.
We all have something worth to measure. It could be something small but significantly crucial for you. Whatever you’re up to, make sure that you can measure it, or you will get lost before even starting your project.
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Jan O. Nilsson – The 3 Necessary Steps to Measurement for Improvement
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