Invest in self assessment

Even though I clipped this a few months ago, I still believe it's valuable, so I'm ok with sharing my thoughts "better late than never".

The subject of this original article was discusses how difficult it is to measure the "effectiveness" of charitable organizations and the efficiency of donations. The same principles apply in IT Operations Management, which is more contemporary to me. These two paragraphs in particular summarizes the issue pretty well:

The enemy was never just overhead. It was and is oversimplification. The problem isn’t just a lack of a new measure. It’s a lack of resources. And a lack of resources necessarily leads to over-simplification. 

We are about to replace one simplistic approach with another. Why? We think it’s the best we can afford. Worse, we think it’s the best we deserve because, ironically, evaluation expense is a kind of overhead, and we’re not supposed to spend any money on that, so we need to do it on the cheap. So the very measure we’re trying to replace is the measure that is unconsciously driving the new “solution.”

When organizations / businesses / teams are trying to run efficiently, there's a natural focus applied to maximizing productivity with minimal resources. So, when the concept of adding resources to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of the primary resources is introduced, this seems wasteful. Any extra resources should be applied to the primary tasks / objectives right? Well, how do we know until we measure how we're doing? Typically the leaders with budget control do not understand or agree with this approach of spending on anything that could be considered "overhead".

I have more on this topic I'd like to share, but I'm running out of time to write, so I'll leave with this bit to think about. I welcome your questions or comments.