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on 5 June 2011
This is an imaginative approach to a familiar topic in advanced business planning and management science. The uses of surrogates, analogies and reflections are all well covered. The intuitive content is more limited but that is understandable. There are few questions which are fluffed: for example, how to measure the effectiveness of an advertising campaign? No one has answered this satisfactorily before, so the "failure" here is not a deal-breaker.

The writing style is reader-friendly and almost always correct in grammar, syntax and spelling - to an American standard of course. It comes across as an authoritative primer and guidebook, and also a thought-provoker. I actually enjoyed reading it; never mind the clever and innovative content.

It would make a useful standard text for courses in corporate strategy, management sciences and managerial economics. I shall recommend it.
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on 12 July 2011
If you're reading this page it's likely you have some interest in management or decisions or measurement. That's enough data for me to make this recommendation with confidence:
Just buy it.

You can find a summary of the contents from Amazon's "Inside this book", or from other reviews, but it's unlikely you'll guess from the chapter headings the scale of the impact this book should have. In the preface Douglas Hubbard says that while writing he `imagined it would be a small "scientific" revolution of sorts for managers - a distant cousin of the methods of "scientific management" introduced a century ago by Frederick Taylor.' That's not a small ambition, but it's realistic.

This is a book that will almost certainly change the way you think about measurement, about decisions, and about the data you need for management. It's a threshold, before-and-after, book.

In short Douglas Hubbard's work is a cross-disciplinary triumph. He has combined techniques, research and insights from psychology, mathematics and economics to produce a practical, coherent method for tackling problems and making decisions anywhere, especially where stakes are high and results uncertain.

Some of the methods he describes are decades old and may be familiar to specialists in decision science but most are not widely known or employed among general managers and public administrators. Douglas Hubbard makes three significant contributions. First he makes an array of powerful tools accessible and shows how they are relevant for almost any big decision. Secondly, he offers a clear systematic framework that shows managers and public administrators how to deploy those tools. Thirdly, he demonstrates how we can approach management with a discipline as rigorous as those we use for the best science or medicine.

It's an exciting prospect. Mr Hubbard began developing his approach working on IT investments but he gives examples from a wide variety of industries and his method is equally relevant to all areas of management. It will make an especially revolutionary difference when this kind of discipline begins to be used in public policy decisions.

Order two copies. When you finish the book you'll want to give it to at least one friend or colleague, but you need to keep one for yourself.
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on 11 January 2015
Yes you can measure anything. Using a definition of measure based on 4 increasingly more sophisticated classes: Nominal (name it), Ordinal (this better than that), Interval (n units of y) and Ratio (scientific measure) - you can start measuring things - and then do something with that measure.
Also discover that people can be calibrated - to provide measures - so the book does what it says.
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on 15 March 2013
The first 6 chapters, before it gets into the heavy mathematics, should be read by anyone who has to measure things. The whole book is a revelation to anyone who does not have a degree in statistics.
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on 28 February 2013
If you work with numbers, statistics and metrics in business, or another field, there are some great insights and suggestions here for measuring things which people will tell you cannot be gauged.
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on 6 February 2014
Learned quite a lot of new techniques. These are my extra words - not clever to ask for words you don't want to provide.
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on 7 June 2016
I thought I had ordered a book, but as it turns out, the CD means I can listen and work at the same time!
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on 30 October 2014
any analyst, business consultant, engineer, scientist, basically any human should read this book
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Finding the answers to most questions usually begins with measuring. But when it comes to answering questions that plague business and society - Will this new product succeed? Will that company fail? How valuable is a human life? - the usual tools of measurement fall short. Metrics expert Douglas W. Hubbard offers a logical, reasoned explanation of how to assign a dimension to anything, especially intangibles or "soft" issues. He makes a strong case for why failing to measure such issues can lead to unsatisfactory or even disastrous decisions. His straightforward approach to the sometimes off-putting field of statistics will appeal to even the most numerically challenged. getAbstract recommends his advice to anyone charged with making critical decisions.
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on 26 August 2012
This book helps to to measure the things that count and stop measuring the things that don't count! It tells you how and why you should change. It is easy to understand.
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