If You Don’t Measure It …

This year, the Palm Beach County Library System worked with a consultant, John Huber, to understand and deploy the Lean Library Management Methodology to our publicity flow chain.  During his time with us, one concept that John reiterated time and time again was, “If you don’t measure it, it must not be important.”  What does this mean?

In order to make meaningful progress in any endeavor there must be a way to track success.  This is easy to understand for Olympic athletes, who measure themselves against the clock, or distance traveled, or their ranking against other competitors.  If want to loss weight, calorie counting and minutes of exercise per day are great items to track.  So if you want to improve your personal productivity, it is important to identify measurable quantities that can be tracked over time.

leanlibraryFor example, if inbox zero is your goal then keep track of the number of messages in your inbox at the end of the day when you leave work.  If you want to be faster at the computer, track and record the number of words you can type per minute.  To keep your commitments under control, maintain an accurate project list, count the projects on it, and discover the maximum number of projects that your stress management can handle at one time.  In short, if you have meaningful productivity goals ask yourself how to measure progress because, “If you don’t measure it, it must not be important.”

To learn more about John Huber’s work visit his web site, look at his book, Lean Library Management, or visit Lean.org.

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