The famous management consultant Peter Drucker reputedly said that “You can’t manage what you can’t measure”. Although I would partially agree with the statement as a basis for discussion, it is a fact that you can’t necessarily measure everything. When it comes to implementing solutions in your organisation, you may not have the systems to measure the solution. The solution you have developed may be so novel that there aren’t any systems. Another consideration is emotions. Emotions can be a challenge to measure. So much depends on the time and the people who are asked to measure their feelings.
The reality in many cases is that the system to measure the success of your solution is one of those compass points and not a map. As a result, you may have to be flexible in measuring success and use a combination of gut feeling and logic.
Awareness and review is the key here. Check on the progress of the solution regularly and involve the team in these reviews. Seek the opinion of others on the receiving end of the solution on how they feel it’s going. Do any adjustments or tweaks need to be made? What are you learning from the implementation process?
Tools for Measurement
One of the most simple tools to measure implementation is the checklist. Implementation of any solution will generally involve several steps. You check each item off as you achieve each milestone. You could also combine the checklist with a report. For example, as you complete each item, write a brief description of the implementation process and what you learned. Make sure you include any problems you confront in the process. The tool I use for task management and implementation projects is Clickup. I find this easy to use and excellent for managing my workflows. It also can generate checklists. There is a free version that works well.
Step 6 – Rinse and Repeat
If everything has gone to plan, there will be no need to use this step. I thought it essential to include this additional step in this series of articles, though, as solving problems can be cyclic. Don’t be disappointed or dissuaded if your first attempt didn’t succeed. Follow the system, and it will work. The more you use these skills, the better you will become because of your practice.
Go back to Step 1 and look at the root cause again. Make sure you have got the real problem. In the example we used earlier about members and meetings, you will recall we identified agendas and meeting procedures as items to be addressed. Even if fixing these issues didn’t completely fix the original problem, you improved your organisation. You have implemented systems to improve the management. You and your team should celebrate your achievement.
In taking a problem and converting it into an opportunity to improve your organisation, you approach the issue positively. Using the steps outlined in this series of articles will assist you in analysing the problem and getting to the root cause. Far too often, people think they know the problem and solve the symptom. The more you use this system for problem-solving, the better you will get.
As a final tip, one of the inclusions I recommend on agendas is an item of reflection. Here you can discuss what your organisation is doing well and where you can do better. So celebrate your wins and address your problems early. It’s a recipe for a successful and dynamic organisation.