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Metrics: How to Improve Key Business Results Paperback – December 6, 2011
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About the Author
Martin Klubeck is a strategy and planning consultant at the University of Notre Dame and a recognized expert in the field of practical metrics. His passion for simplifying the complex has led to the development of a simple system for developing meaningful metrics. He is author of Metrics: How to Improve Key Business Results and coauthor of Why Organizations Struggle So Hard to Improve So Little and numerous articles on metrics. Klubeck is also the founder of the Consortium for the Establishment of Information Technology Performance Standards, a nonprofit organization focused on providing much-needed standards for measures.
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Top Customer Reviews
I am sure you all are aware of the old game show and even party games that give one an answer and ask the player, what is the question? Klubeck in the book emphasizes the Root Question as the single most important prerequisite to exist for an effective metric. Sometimes, we as humans have the analytical persistence to go very far in many paths of a problem, issue or opportunity, only to back up and ask the fundamental question, "What are we trying to do in this exercise"? This book urges the development of the question first. On the premise that the end result, the metric and its measures are the answer and that is a very significant departure from what mostly goes on for analytics these days. Normally, we get a mountain of data first, then plow through it all analytically and develop a few metrics. This book not only discourages the acquisition of data as a first step, but centers the Root Question as the fundamental component and deliverable in the Metric Planning Phase. Question first, answer later, is a huge game-changer, because it saves time, money and dodges frustration.
Many Business Performance books, lecturers, teachers and practitioners refer to many different elements and components. At the very beginning of the book, a Common Language for Metrics is established and explained. Data, and Measures, and Information, OH MY! This simple taxonomy for Metrics Components eliminates such age old questions as, "What are the differences between metrics, measures and KPIs (key performance indicators)"? This level setting of the metrics components early in the book eliminates all possible confusion for the reader and metrics practitioner.
The Answer Key, a comprehensive Framework for Metrics Development is also introduced in the book. It can be used to evaluate current metrics in your organization. Or, as a starting point for a new organizational metrics program. In this book review, the Answer Key cannot be adequately explained in detail, however, it will be the subject of a full length article posted as another document on this site. In short, the Answer Key itself, yields enough value to the reader to justify the money and time expense from buying and reading the book.
The author of this book graciously has provided a goof-proof script, to develop effective and highly relevant metrics. Beyond, the comprehensive script for a meaningful Metrics Program, our author also includes many valuable stage directions as I call them, when I compare a good set of Metrics to a good film. After all, with Metrics we are trying to tell a complete story, just as a great movie might tell. One of the most valuable suggestions the author gives us in the book is the advice to avoid chasing data. The book also emphasizes the power, danger and potential effectiveness in organizational maturation and improvement from metrics, while still taking extreme care to properly engage the Metric Stakeholders.
Many other very important concepts associated with developing, utilizing and analyzing metric are introduced and explained with full detail in this book, including, The Service Catalog, the Report Card, Standards and Benchmarks, Triangulation and Expectations vs. Targets and Stretch Goals.
I sincerely recommend this book, "Metrics: How to Improve Key Business Results" to any manager, organizational leader, or anyone that wants to develop and utilize metrics that will indeed inspire peak performance in their organization, program or company.
Before you drown yourself with details about data and collection methods, do yourself a favor and educate yourself on this approach. You'll be glad you did.
I hope that readers of this review take my review seriously. I'm always skeptical of reviews. But, I don't know the author and do not benefit from this post. That said, if you want to understand the concept of metrics and best practices on their implementation then buy this book.
I highly recommend this book and this way of thinking to improve key business results. Start with chapters 1 through 4 to begin developing your business’s health report!