What You Can Measure- Part 2 [Goals & Improvements]

This is the second part of the series “What you can measure” In the first part we introduced it with an insight on why measurements are important. In this post we will breakdown measurements into goal-oriented and improvement-oriented measurements.

Read up on what you can measure- part 1

Most times we have a goal, something we want to achieve, it could be long term or short term but in one way or another we try to achieve it. It could be an exam you are preparing for or loosing 20 kg of weight or reading for an hour or saving a certain amount of money every month. How does that turn out most times?

Getting huge results like this or making huge changes actually starts from making little changes and letting it build over time, like compound interest. But then we want to see impact immediately, it’s normal cause we are only human but just like compound interest it all depends on your rate and time.

When do you say you’re having a set-back or failing in a goal-oriented measurement? It is when you have failed to meet your goal. Now you take corrective actions and the damage is done the damage could include your emotions too, you feel down and feel that there’s no need and then there’s a ripple effect on other activities.

Bringing to you Improvement-oriented measurement, Okay lol it is not an ad. This follows the philosophy of empiricism with a little tweak here and there.  Unlike Goal-oriented that focuses on the product, this focuses on the process. Studying your process every day helps you realize where the problem is.

Empiricism the theory that all knowledge is derived from sense-experience.

This process involves asking a lot of whys to reduce the process to a very fundamental level, for example I will use reading again but this could be applied to any problem, You realize you read for only 15 minutes at maximum concentration. Why? I get distracted, why? Cause I’m on the phone Why? cause I want to reply texts? 

At the end you will see that what causes this might be things you do leading up to that event, it might be the fact that you’re not getting enough sleep then we figure out how to get more sleep. Empiricism comes into play in the sense that we  have to tack progress closely for every change. Does an hour extra sleeping add few pages to what you cover that day.

Improvement-oriented measurements make you note every improvement, it might be slow but you will know you’re improving and mostly taking preventive actions.

I was going to live a list of software you could use but nothing beats a pen and paper, you could take it further like I do to putting it in a spreadsheet like MS Excel or Numbers, both can be used on the phone. Use Trello to create flow for your activities but I highly recommend a Paper and Pen.

This series was inspired by the DMAIC cycle of the six sigma. Define Measure Analyze Improve and  Control, Empirical process of scrum, the PDCA cycle for continuous improvement, Atomic Habits by James Clear and finally Jollof rice 🙂

Let’s measure something this week. Happy Sunday guys 🙂

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