“Measure what matters." -- John Doerr
I love to play games, and I'm currently hooked on a couple of different ones.
I've got my weekly game marathon with my mom, during which we challenge one another to one or more games of Yahtzee or Scrabble, depending on the day. In a traditional playing of either of these games, success (or winning) is measured by a high score. My mom and I take this to a whole new level by tracking the highest score overall, and we've got data going back years.
Additionally, I love to play solo games, like Wordle and Cozy Grove, in which success isn't measured by a high score but rather by performance. In games like these, you track your success by how many days you play in a row, how quickly you can solve the puzzle, how many tasks you can complete, etc.
Successful transformation in our little corners of the world needs to get measured in similar ways because keeping score brings energy, growth, and fulfillment to our lives.
Measurement matters because activity doesn't necessarily equal success. You can be working your tail off doing one thing and still never achieve the desired results because you were working hard at the wrong thing.
Co-author of this book, Change Your World, Rob Hoskins, experienced this measurement disconnect in his organization, so he developed "a simple framework to ensure that whatever problem he was trying to solve or issue he was addressing or circumstance he was determined to transform, he would gather data, track progress, and measure positive change." He calls this framework the "Five Ds."
"It's good to slow down and ask the right questions, but not everyone does -- or does it well." This step is necessary if we want to fully understand the reality of the problem, issue, or circumstance we are trying to transform. Ask questions and seek answers that help
Reveal the truth of what's going on,
Look at the hard facts, and
Know who you should include in the work.
"When you have the facts from your discovery phase, you can quickly cut through the noise and uncertainty of what to do next;" only then can you effectively design a plan for moving forward.
Describe the current scope of the problem based on the discovery process.
Envision what you want to change as a result of the plan.
Identify all the steps needed (at least as far as you can tell) to move from your current reality to your transformed reality.
Make a list of the people and resources you will need to follow these steps.
Set an aggressive but realistic timeline for completion, along with incremental checkpoints.
Once you have a plan, it's time to stop talking and get to work. Start small and measure everything. This makes it easier to track your progress and change course when you realize that something isn't working. "Don't expect everything you do to give you an equal return. Most of the change you desire to see will come from only 20% of what you're doing."
"An objective has a set of concrete steps that you're intentionally engaged in and actually trying to attain." -- Bill Gates
"In order to figure out what's really going on and how you can make a positive difference, you have to document the results of your activity and ensure they are contributing to the outcomes you desire." Document the following:
What works and what doesn't,
The number of lives changed,
The specifics of what changed, and
The specifics of why the change was made.
Measurement should always be circular. Once you've determined whether your efforts are succeeding or not, and the specifics around that, it's time to start back at the beginning with a bigger and better piece of the vision. "Your progress will give you the momentum to go through the cycle again, but this time with bigger goals in mind."
Expand on what you've already learned.
Verify you're heading in the right direction.
Conduct a reality check to determine if different changes need to be made.
Collaborate with the people you're partnered with to discuss what efforts need to be multiplied and which need to be eliminated.
Go bigger and do it all again... and again... and again.
This week, consider the following questions:
Which stage of the framework are you currently in?
What are your current practices of measurement?
What steps could you take today to improve your measurement?