Performance measures and learning LO12164

Barry Mallis (
24 Jan 97 07:53:56 -0500

Replying to LO12139 --

I'm glad that Ginger says the metrics issue is not easy to deal with.
Points of view shift, and so do metrics or measurements.

One of my own points of view is that the quantum mechanical model is not
relevant to a team's establishing metrics for a customer-serving outcome.
At my manufacturing company, we define our metrics based upon weakness
orientation. That is, "What obstacl es are there to..." or, "What
prevents us from..." or, "Why keep us from...". Now, we apply this
weakness orientation to the team mission, requiring a metric by which the
team feels progress can be demonstrated. And a time frame is thrown in.
For exam ple, "Reduce the number of shipping errors from 400 to 350 PPM
(parts per million) by end of Q3."

Small problem-solving teams do NOT take the metrics as cast in concrete.
In fact, the metric by which to determine the success of this group
endeavor sometimes shifts with the concurrence of the team. More often
the metric is exceeded by team results. And, on top of that, there is
measurable, positive spill-over into other areas of the process under

Meaningless data collection, as Ginger so rightly points out, is
destructive to such endeavors. Narrowing the scope of team work, avoiding
the temptation to "solve world hunger," and using some proven group
thinking tools mightily assist small problem-so lving teams or process
improvement teams in their work.

Best regards,


Barry Mallis

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