Great Expectations and Harsh Realities: Why Metrics Are Important

This misfit stone tells us why metrics are importantIt all started innocently enough. My client initiated a content management program with great expectations for a hugely positive outcome – but when all was said and done, the harsh realities of the day-to-day fairly well torpedoed all of the good intentions.

The reason? The client didn’t measure anything before they started and therefore could not justify the organizational angst that was being created by the new interfaces, procedures, and philosophies being implemented.

The lesson here is one I have imparted time and time again: if you don’t quantify your current levels of performance and you don’t clearly define the performance levels you expect to achieve in the future, it’s impossible to know when you finally achieve them AND you can’t even demonstrate that you are making progress! Layer this on top of user uncertainty and organizational change, and you can see why my client was in trouble.

If there was any good news, it lay in the fact that the technology they selected was a good one, and actually performed pretty well. But most of its business value was being left on the table because it wasn’t tuned to any specific business goals or operational targets. My recommendation, therefore, was to take a conceptual step back and analyze the pain that led them to install the solution in the first place. This isn’t as good as performing the analysis before installing it, but at least the psychic damage could be contained, and solid metrics could be put into place going forward.

Are your value metrics incomplete or nonexistent? Would you like to validate the ones you are using or evaluate the ability of your current solution to meet or exceed them? Give us a call or drop us a line and let us know, for that’s exactly what we are here for!

About the author: Steve Weissman

Steve Weissman helps you do information right by bringing order and discipline to your governance and process practices. Principal Consultant at Holly Group and Co-Founder of the Information Coalition (now merged with ARMA International), he leverages a proven proprietary methodology to optimize everything from strategic planning and needs assessment to vendor selection and user adoption. He is, in short, The Info Gov Guy™, furthering best-practices for finding, leveraging, and protecting your business-critical information. A member of the AIIM Company of Fellows and holder of numerous industry designations, he can be reached at or 617-383-4655.

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