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Customer Review

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just buy it., 12 July 2011
This review is from: How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business (Hardcover)
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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