The project measurement adage of “what gets measured gets done” has a strong element of truth to it. But is just “getting done” good enough?
Nowadays it seems as though everything is getting measured ….. you can measure how many steps you take, what your heart rate is, how well you slept last night …. and so on. But what those measurements might not tell you is whether the number of steps you took was high because of the train journey that kept rocking your body, whether your heart rate is low because of drugs you take, or whether your good night’s sleep was alcohol induced!
As a certified project manager, I know the benefits of having discipline behind the work that needs to get done. But as someone who is also driven by passion, commitment and creativity, I know that measurement alone won’t deliver the quality of work that makes an impact. Meeting a deadline is good, but if it’s with low quality work, then this can be counter-productive …. requiring re-work or contingencies that eat up extra resources. And even if a measure includes a quality element to it, does this deliver the “required outcome”, or a “superb outcome”?
Working in a team where everyone pushes the boundaries of possibilities, covers for each other, delivers over and above expectations, and does all of this with a smile and dedication, is the sort of memorable experience that anyone would want. This contrasts with a team who work in silos, do the bare necessities, think of themselves before others, and oozes boredom from just doing a job.
An inspiring and dedicated leader or a team member who regards measurement as a helpful discipline rather than an onerous burden, is someone who will not only deliver to time, quality and cost, but will do so with a passion, joy and energy that makes a massive difference to everyone around them.
In summary, developing leadership capability is to invest in the character of an individual not just the results they can deliver!