Most organisations start a metrics programme without baselining their current performance. Although quite a few people get their knickers in a twist about this (‘How can you measure anything if you don’t have a baseline??!!), it may not be good, but neither is it fatal …
Here are some methods for creating a perfectly credible metrics programme with no baselines:
- Decide it doesn’t need a baseline.
- Sometimes trends as such are not important to the problem you are trying to solve.
- Estimate the baseline from indicative data.
- For example, financial figures are frequently good indicators, even if they are inherently indirect measures of what you are really interested in.
- Don’t create a baseline – measure from Day 1 only. Just worry about getting better or worse.
- Review a sample of the existing population, and treat that as your baseline.
- Just make sure that your sampling is meaningful (which isn’t as easy as it sounds).
- Adopt industry standards.
- They may not represent the best, but they are not a bad starting point.
- Start from targets, not baselines.
- That way you’ll have something to move towards rather than away from, which is lot more positive.
- Don’t even measure. Sometimes you just know what needs doing!