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Transforming Performance Measurement: Rethinking the Way We Measure and Drive Organizational Success Hardcover – February 16, 2007

4.9 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"""I am impressed by Dean Spitzer's approach to unlocking the hidden mysteries in business that keep people and organizations from succeeding. This book teaches how to accept reality and the importance of dialogue. It also reaffirms my belief that successful organizations develop a special language, a language of numbers, and once you develop it, you build on it, and the outcome is pride, self-esteem, teamwork, and trust."" –Jack Stack, Chairman, SRC Holdings; father of ""Open Book Management""; and author of The Great Game of Business

""This is one of the best books on performance measurement that I have ever read! Dean Spitzer has done a great job of illustrating the transformational potential of performance measurement. His arguments are spot-on, his examples persuasive, and his writing inspirational."" --Andy Neely, Professor and Chair, Centre for Business Performance, Cranfield University School of Management; and author of The Performance Prism

""Dean Spitzer takes the mystery out of performance measurement with this practical guide to how doing measurement right can transform any organization.""--Dean Williams, Chief Learning Officer, Wachovia Corporation

""Dean Spitzer’s approach to measurement as a social process is a breakthrough that will drive out fear, align measures with strategy, and create a context for the successful use of performance measurement. This book will help you get beyond ‘gaming the system’ to personal and organizational integrity.""--Lou Agosta, author of The Essential Guide to Data Warehousing

""Dean Spitzer shifts the performance measurement dialogue from having metrics to selecting the right ones and using them effectively. Leaders who are serious about improving the understanding, transparency, and effectiveness of organizational performance measures must read this book."" --Jim Hill, CEO, Proofpoint Systems; and Past President, International Society for Performance Improvement"

Book Description

It’s no secret that you can’t improve your organization’s performance without measuring it. In fact, every function, unit, process, and the organization as a whole, is built and run according to the parameters and expectations of its measurement system.

So you’d better make sure you’re doing it right. All too often, performance measurement creates dysfunction, whether among individuals, teams, or across entire divisions and companies. Most traditional measurement systems actually encourage unhealthy competition for personal gain, creating internal conflict and breeding distrust of performance measurement.

Transforming Performance Measurement presents a breakthrough approach that will not only significantly reduce those dysfunctions, but also promote alignment with business strategy, maximize cross-enterprise integration, and help everyone to work collaboratively to drive value throughout your organization.

Performance improvement thought leader Dean Spitzer explains why performance measurement should be less about calculations and analysis and more about the crucial social factors that determine how well the measurements get used. His ""socialization of measurement"" process focuses on learning and improvement from measurement, and on the importance of asking such questions as: How well do our measures reflect our business model? How successfully are they driving our strategy? What should we be measuring and not measuring? Are the right people having the right measurement discussions?

Performance measurement is a dynamic process that calls for an awareness of the balance necessary between seemingly disparate ideas: the technical and the social aspects of performance measurement. For example, you need technology to manage the flood of data, but you must make sure that it supports the people who will be making decisions and taking action crucial to your organization’s success. This book shows you how to design that technical-social balance into your measurement system.

While it is urgent to start taking action now, transforming your organization’s performance measurement system will take time. Transforming Performance Measurement gives you assessment tools to gauge where you are now and a roadmap for moving, with little or no disruption, to a more "transformational" and mature measurement system.

The book also provides 34 TMAPs, Transformational Measurement Action Plans, which suggest both well-accepted and "emergent" measures (in areas such as marketing, human resources, customer service, knowledge management, productivity, information technology, research and development, costing, and more) that you can use right away.

In the end, you get what you measure. If you measure the wrong things, you will take your company farther and farther away from its mission and strategic goals. Transforming Performance Measurement tells you not only what to measure, but how to do it -- and in what context -- to make a truly transformational difference in your enterprise.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM (February 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814408915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814408919
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Malcolm Conway on March 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
DEAN SPITZER has produced a ground-breaking book that shatters long-held, deeply entrenched conceptualizations of measurement that have resulted in measurement dysfunction. Moving beyond classical measurement theory and the focus on technical measures, Dean challenges all who create, track, use and are affected by performance measures to move away from measurement dysfunction characterized by:

1. Excessive focus on rewards

2. Fear

3. Measuring the wrong things

4. Measuring `looking good,' rather than `being good'

5. Measuring too much

6. Sub-optimization (measuring in functional silos)

7. Cheating

His cogent, compelling, specific remedies for transforming traditional performance measurement are to focus instead on:

1. Context: Continuously improve how measurement is experienced. [We rarely think about the "measurement experience" in organizations!]

2. Focus: Focus on measuring the right things. Focus on the `critical few' transformational measures, rather than the `trivial many' routine ones.

3. Integration: Use measurement frameworks and cross-functional measures to break down barriers and align the organization.

4. Interactivity: Performance measurement is just a bunch of `metrics' if it isn't the basis for dialogue. Dialogue around measurement makes it come alive, makes it meaningful, and promotes organizational learning.

Dr. Spitzer's thoughtful book is destined to be a classic due to its focus on the human aspects of performance measurement. Kudos and my gratitude to him for producing this practical guide.

Malcolm J. Conway

IBM Global Business Services
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Format: Hardcover
Consider the following observations:

"Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it." - Voltaire

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein

"There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all." - Peter Drucker

In this remarkable volume, Dean Spitzer urges his reader to re-think how to measure and drive organizational success, whatever the size and nature of the give organization may be. He offers a number of performance measures and ways of measures that can have a "transformational impact" on the way people in organizations view the work, their products, their associates, and their customers. He asks his reader to begin to view measurement itself "through a new lens" when correlating the material in this book with her or his own organization. "Perhaps the most surprising truth covered in this book is that the `context of measurement' [i.e. `an optimal environment for its effective use'] will largely determine its effectiveness."

At this point, it should be noted that Spitzer offers two significant reassurances in the Introduction: transformational measurement doesn't require a major change in a business structure or systems, "but only in how you think about measuring your organization; moreover, "on those occasions when measurement is used for the purpose of improvement rather than to make judgments or place blame, and when it is focused on the right measures, its true power is revealed.
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Format: Hardcover
Dean Spitzer could have simply written a book to critically examine the traditional, ineffective use of measurement so pervasive today. Or, he could have laid out some of his thoughts on what perspectives and actions would constitute a truly transformational approach to performance measurement. Or, he might have regaled us with a proliferation of examples of both traditional and transformational measurement. However, he has skillfully woven together all of these elements into a compelling case that not only stands to transform performance measurement, but can stand as a valid, universal approach to management and leadership. And, not only that, but he has detailed at least 34 transitional measurement "maps" to help get a running start.

As directly as he suggests the reader examine their own measurement system, Dr. Spitzer "takes on" established measurement practices, and explains why - from sociological and psychological as well as procedural perspectives - they are not working. At the same time, he deftly paints a landscape of hope and encouragement, detailing the transformational performance measurement approach.

Dean's new book should be on your shelf beside those from which he significantly quotes: Senge, Deming, Argyris, Drucker, et al.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a must have book for any leader that wants to improve and any improvement practitioner that helps businesses improve.

From my own experience most businesses (and the leaders, workers and management) know very little about what a measure is, how to set a measurable goal, and how to improve to get to that measure. Everyone pretends to know what SMART goals are. Oh yeah, Measurable is one of the items. Unfortunately no one is able to define that piece very well.

And why do we need to change what we're doing? All our measures are green, we must be doing great.

This book does a great job walking through why measurement is so important, why it goes bad (and what bad looks like), how to convince people to want to change (change management), and also gives you some shortcuts to help you get better measurement sooner than later.

I've found this book to be very helpful when trying to get out and help leaders and front line management alike to understand the power of measurement and start down the path of creating better measures.
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