Monday, June 09, 2008

What Gets Measured Gets Done

I am in California. The weather is beautiful. Hot but not the humidity we have at home now.

What gets tracked and measured gets done.

One of the reasons that I have been able to stick to a workout routine for the last 15 years is that I track what workouts I do. The simple act of tracking is enough to make me want to keep doing it and keep doing it well.

Yesterday was a great work out day. I ran 5K before I flew out. Then after I arrived, I lifted weights and ran 15K (9.4 miles because I am in the US). Now for some reason I am sore.

This idea is similar to a blog post that Nate Collier wrote on making things into a game. For me I have made it a game to make sure that I get my workouts in. And tracking them is my scorecard.

And if its a game - then it is fun (even though most admin work for me is not top of my fun list)


At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You have to measure what you want more of"

Famous quote by Charles Coonradt

At 6:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations! This post was selected as one of the five best business blog posts of the week in my Three Star Leadership Midweek Review of the Business Blogs.

Wally Bock

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Matthew Cornell said...

There's a related thought: "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it." You might find the background of this expression interesting:

# [1] This quote is often attributed to Peter Drucker, but a bit of digging indicates it's not that clear. Searching for the phrase - and the original "If you can measure it, you can mange it" - yields some surprises. For example, A Hacker's Guide to Project Management credits it to Tom DeMarco, who starts with it in his book Controlling Software Projects: Management, Measurement, and Estimates.

However, going back a bit, the book Measuring the Value of Information Technology says it was Lord Kelvin who originated it:

It was the scientist Lord Kelvin who said, "When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely in your thoughts advanced to the stage of science." Later, this statement was abbreviated to "if you can measure it, you can manage it," and "if you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it."

BUT, even further back the authors of Geography Matters! state "The Renaissance astronomer Rhaticus suggested that if you can measure something, then you have some control over it." Wikipedia has more at Rheticus.


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