7 Jan 2008

The Ruler

I used to have a boss who had been nicknamed “The Ruler” – not because of a dictatorial management style, but for his predilection for measuring everything. He was fanatical about evaluation.

Evaluation is sometimes regarded as a needless luxury, but it also provides valuable knowledge for making and defending decisions. It’s also nearly impossible to measure the effectiveness of anything without having predetermined measurement criteria.

Before embarking on a course of activity, the first step is typically to stop and clarify your goals and objectives. After that, you figure out what needs to be accomplished and overlay this with an appropriate measurement tool so you can benchmark your success.

Whether you use qualitative or quantitative metrics, or a combination of both, the point is to have a pre-set idea of what success looks like – for example, are you looking for a 10 or 20 percent response rate to a direct mail campaign? Will delivering on time and within budget be a success factor? To what extent has your communications campaign generated new business or won favorable public opinion? Essentially, what will success look like?

Remember, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.

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