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Measurement Madness: Recognizing and Avoiding the Pitfalls of Performance Measurement Hardcover – 5 Dec 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (5 Dec. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1119970709
  • ISBN-13: 978-1119970705
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 1.9 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 610,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From the Inside Flap

It's an all-too-familiar tale: a well-meaning managerintroduces a performance measurement system to motivate employees, increase accountability, and improve results. At first everythingseems to be going fine, but, before long, things appear to be alittle strange. Employees start to act as if only what they aremeasured on matters. The number and length of reports increase, butmadness ensues as these reports paint a picture of improvement, while overall results start to drop. Sound familiar? If so, Measurement Madness is the book for you.

This book is not another guide on how to implement performancemeasurement systems; there are already countless books on thesubject. However the unintended consequences and dysfunctionalbehaviours associated with measurement are becoming evermorewidespread, as the introduction of performance measurement pervadesall organizations and walks of life.

Measurement Madness is an engaging read, full ofanecdotes so peculiar you'll hardly believe them. Each onehighlights a performance measurement initiative that went wrong, explains why and - most importantly - shows you how toavoid making the same mistake yourself.

It turns out that performance measurement often fails for quitesimple reasons. Managers might choose to measure what is easy tomeasure rather than what is important; or they might decide toquantify something assuming it won't affect what people do; or theymay believe that measurement will give them objective data, whereasthey end up triggering even more subjectivity and personaljudgment. These avoidable pitfalls have been distilled andaddressed in Measurement Madness, so that you may learn fromothers' mistakes.

The dangers of poorly designed performance measures arenumerous, and even the best how-to guides don't explain how toavoid these pitfalls. Measurement Madness will help youunderstand whether you're measuring the right things, rewarding thebehaviours that deserve rewarding, and whether you are interpretingresults in a way that will improve things rather than complicatethem. This book will help you to recognize, correct and even avoidcommon performance measurement pitfalls, including:

  • Measuring for the sake of measuring
  • Assuming that measurement is an instant fix for performanceissues
  • Comparing sets of data that have nothing in common and hopingto learn something
  • Using targets and rewards to promote certain behaviours, andachieving exactly the opposite ones.

Reading Measurement Madness will enable you toconfidently design a performance measurement system, afteraccounting for the unintended consequences that the system mayengender.

From the Back Cover

Measurement Madness

"What a refreshing read - instead of another manual on how to design and deploy measurement systems, this book looks at the real issues associated with measurement and how to avoid 'measurement madness'. A must read for anyone involved in improving their organization's measurement approaches."
--Professor Andy Neely, University of Cambridge; author of The Performance Prism

"Measurement drives behaviours in mysterious ways. Human beings seem the one factor that messes up those carefully designed measurement systems. Measurement Madness makes the only sane argument: performance measurement is meant to affect people's behaviours, and functional and dysfunctional behaviours follow certain patterns. If you want your measurement system to work in practice, Gray, Micheli and Pavlov are your guides."
--Frank Buytendijk, Research VP at Gartner; author of Performance Leadership

"Performance measurement is at the very core of management. How can anyone be better if they don't know how good they are? Yet, devising a good performance measurement system requires a profound understanding of how people actually behave when they are measured. This book is very welcome, as it is both wise and practical, full of sensible advice and extremely readable."
--Professor Nigel Slack, University of Warwick; author of Operations Management

"We tend to assume that a performance measurement system is a tool to check how an organization is doing. In practice, its role is mainly to direct behaviours. This book provides excellent illustrations of how and why such behaviours can end up being very positive or absolutely perverse."
--Anna D'Alessandro, CFO at Westminster City Council

"Getting performance measures to work effectively for a business is always a challenge. This book provides great ideas for navigating that tricky path."
--Mark Baker, Head of Risk and Financial Planning, Pentland Brands

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