This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Too Many Measures

Frank Patrick has a piece today on the Otis Redding Theory of Measurement that he got from Fast Company via some Otis lyrics, "I can't do what 10 people tell me to do, so I guess I'll remain the same." Frank's summary: "Too many measures are not only distracting, but are also the root of debilitating dilemmas."

This relates to a letter to the editor of ComputerWorld that complains of a similar problem:

I have deduced why Neil Montgomery is scowling in the picture accompanying the article "Eyes Everywhere" [QuickLink 42407]. As a midmarket CEO, he is receiving daily e-mail reports on the activity of individual sales representatives and the timely delivery of individual orders. This is an outstanding example of an information system providing the wrong individual with an overabundance of irrelevant information.

At my former job, we spent a lot of time talking about a digital dashboard that would work for everyone. We quickly realized that almost every individual needs a different set of information to make their job work. Setting up dashboards, while potentially valuable (GE's Digital Cockpit, for example), the design needs to very carefully consider how people will use the information they get.

Having all that information and knowledge available is fine. Having it tailored to the people who might actually get some value is even better.

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What the customer wants vs. what she says