Taking a little different approach to this week’s blog post.  I want to know how other organization’s have dealt with common pitfalls and measurement failures.  My company has been in this boat a couple of times and we don’t seem to learn from our mistakes.  Naturally, it always takes a couple of tries to get it right!

Let’s list the most common quotes that lead us to measurement program failures because we refuse to see the problems for what they are.

“All Metrics Are Useful”

Are they though?  Goals change constantly, and unless these metrics support growth and improvement, not all will apply.  Being flexible is far more valuable than counting numbers!

“Measurement Will Sell Itself”

Of course not!  A measurement program is not the end-all be-all solution.  It must be linked with milestones, challenges and EA approaches.  When delivered as a set with communications and sales activities, measurement programs become more applicable.

“Everyone Should Get Involved”

No!  We don’t need the entire team on this, seriously.  A successful measurement program is managed by a core group.  Unless there is a set of goals and direct initiatives, getting everyone involved when it’s too early is a recipe for disaster.  A planned approach is the most efficient way to implement a measurement program.

“Simply Ignore Those That Resist Change”

Please don’t…because most likely, they have been a part of the breath and air of your enterprise for a VERY LONG TIME.  We are all human and deserve a chance to see and understand the change.  Resistance should be met with discipline and careful evaluation but it is not a good idea to ignore.  This is where feedback and communication come into play.

“Aim for Better Than the Industry Average on All Fronts”

Not a good idea!  “Keeping up with Joneses” is the cliche term for better than industry average.  A measurement program involves several pieces falling into place and working synchronously.  Using the industry average as a benchmark can lead an enterprise astray from their real goals and plan.  Internal benchmarks would be a proper approach to a measurement program.

“Measurement Creates a Negative Environment”
“Measurement Hinders Productivity or Creativity”

Tell that to the judge!  Exactly what our development team would say if they had the chance.  There will always be fear in measurement, but if you don’t measure, how will you get better?  An enterprise must engrain this measurement approach as a good-intention culture rather than a “big brother” mentality.  Measuring allows for teams to asses risk and write successes – by the same token, if there is a failure, then a team can fail fast and move on.  If measuring is communicated properly, the hinderance of productivity and creativity will be minimal.  People want to work, they want to be successful, and they want to help people and their company.  The better the communication, the better the morale.

I’ve seen plenty of these debilitating words in my organization and I always cringe when I do.  There are several chances to exceed and succeed with measurement programs.  An enterprise need only to listen and communicate properly.

What do you hear within your organizations?  I’d be curious to find out how common some of these are!  Comment below and let me know!

James, G. (2006, December 4), Why Enterprise Architecture Measurement Programs Fail: The Common Pitfalls, (ID Number: G00143258). Gartner Database.