Metric utilization requires commitment and resource allotments; hence, it is important to do it right. When organizations strive to become more metric driven, it is important to avoid metric-design and metric-usage errors. Common mistakes include the following:
- Creating metrics for the sake of metrics. Lloyd S. Nelson, director of Statistical Methods for the Nashua Corporation, stated, "The most important figures needed for management of any organization are unknown or unknowable."
- Formulating too many metrics, resulting in no actions.
- Lacking metric follow-up.
- Describing metrics that do not result in the intended action.
- Creating metrics that can have subjective manipulation.
If not exercised effectively, metrics can become a dark force where good energy is absorbed by bad stuff — a black hole where good resources are lost.
Editor's Note: Breyfogle also has written a basic introduction to IEE in the form of a novel. It tells us about four friends who share their business experiences while playing golf. The friends learn how they can improve their games in both business and golf by using IEE. Titled "Integrated Enterprise Excellence Volume 1 — The Basics: Golfing Buddies Go Beyond Lean Six Sigma and the Balanced Scorecard," it is the first of a three-volume series that presents ever more detailed information about IEE.