Random snippets of articles, books, magazines, and websites that were striking at the time I read them.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Benchmarking, when taken to the extreme, becomes bad

That's the conclusion I get from reading Seth Godin's latest blog post on Benchmarking.

Offhand, here are my thoughts after reading his post:
  • it's tough to keep benchmarketing against others when you know darned well you're not going to be able to keep up

  • it's reckless to stop benchmarketing altogether, because while ignorance may be bliss, you can't stay ignorant forever -- especially when your business goes under.

So I can only conclude that:
  • we SHOULD keep benchmarketing, but we should do so in moderation (I am feeling very Aristotlean right now)

  • we should focus our energies on figuring out WHAT things should be measured. I may be able to track hundreds of indicators, but all that is futile and worthless if they're all the wrong indicators to focus on.

  • once we know what should be measured, we can focus on those indicators only, and avoid getting distracted by factoids that aren't critical to our desired outcome.

  • and of course, like most things, we should periodicially revisit our assumptions about what's important, because the world around us constantly changes, and we should likewise continuously adapt.


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