That which cannot be measured...

Just because you can't - or don't - measure something doesn't mean you can't manage or improve it.

Listening to the latest Practitioner Radio podcast from Pink Elephant, I agreed with it all - great stuff - except one parting remark from Troy: "that which cannot be measured cannot be improved". I've written before about another variation: "you can't manage what you don't measure". I disagree with both statements.

The bit I disagree with is the absolute "cannot". Better metrics means better management and improvement, no dispute. At some level of maturity, metrics become essential (Level 4 in CMMI terms). But poor metrics or the absence of metrics does not make management or improvement impossible, and most of us are operating below maturity level 4.

Most of what we manage and most of what we improve is not measured. The very definition of good management is the ability to make decisions when presented with imperfect information.

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