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Why Do We Need to Measure?

 

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Implementing U.S. Department of energy Lessons Learned Programs Volume 1 - index
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What is the Foundation for a Performance Measurement System?


Lessons Learned Handbook:
DOE-HDBK-7502-95
2. To help us understand our processes. To confirm what we know or reveal what
we don't know. Do we know where the problems are?
3. To ensure decisions are based on fact, not on emotion. Are our decisions
based upon well-documented facts and figures or on intuition and gut feelings?
4. To show where improvements need to be made. Where can we do better?
How can we improve?
5. To show if improvements actually happened. Do we have a clear picture?
6. To reveal problems that bias, emotion, and longevity cover up. (If we have
been doing our job for a long time without measurement, we might assume
incorrectly that things are going well.)
7. To identify whether suppliers are meeting our requirements. Do our suppliers
know if our requirements are being met?
In addition, methods to measure and demonstrate progress provide significant
benefits to any program. These benefits include:
Defining project or activity objectives.
Increasing managerial and financial control.
Identifying problems during the project or activity, not afterward.
Identifying when and where action is needed.
Making accomplishments visible.
Improving reporting of progress and results.
Expanding communication links.
Why Do We Need to Measure?
Measurement improves management. Without dependable measurements, intelligent
decisions can be difficult to make. Measurement can be used for:
1. Control: Measurement helps to reduce variation.
2. Self-Assessment: Measurements can be used to asses how well a process is
doing, including improvements that have been made.
3. Continuous Improvement: Measurements can be used to identify defect
sources, process trends, defect prevention, and to determine process efficiency
and effectiveness, and opportunities for improvement.
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