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Hi guys, 

I'm a new listener to the career and manager tools podcast, and in all honesty this far it's been a blast. before I started listening to the podcasts I felt trapped in my current position and considered quitting, even if it meant a step down in pay.
 
However, having listened to your them have given me both a new understanding on how to change things at our company as well as giving me a hope for the future.
 
Now on to my question, I want to measure how well a project that I'm pushing are going. We are a very international company in that we have five or six offices all developing their own product lines and I'm running a project to increase cooperation between us. Now, I have a couple of ideas on how to measure this (number of features that incorporate more than one product line for example), the problem is that they don't seem to actually measure the right thing... Anyone of you have any suggestions? 
 
Regards, 
Tony

mattpalmer's picture

There is a three-part podcast series on setting annual goals (http://www.manager-tools.com/2007/12/how-to-set-annual-goals-part-1-of-3, http://www.manager-tools.com/2008/01/how-to-set-annual-goals-part-2-of-3 and http://www.manager-tools.com/2008/01/how-to-set-annual-goals-part-3-of-3).  It is, in large part, about how to ensure that you create measurable goals.  Since measurability is what you're struggling with, it should be fairly instructive.  If you've only got time to listen to one part, listen to part 3, which is a story about "John and the gate guards", and should provide you with enough ideas to get going.

adffdasfdsfasddfsfadsdasfdas's picture

Thanks, 

I'l listen through on those three, I'm unfortunately not through all of the casts yet, but I'm getting their (averaging 10 casts a week, you got to love a long commute).

sjpeterson's picture

 

Measuring outcomes is important, but only if they are the right outcomes.  Your sense that measuring the adding of features from other product lines is not the right measure is correct.  Adding the appropriate features is a benefit, adding other features may not be.  You can see how, if this were written as a goal, you might get people adding in useless features to meet this goal.  This would actually make your products needlessly more complicated and hence actually worse. 
Instead, you should focus on measuring cooperative behaviors.   A couple of examples would be:
1.     responding to inquiries
2.     sharing of resources
3.     sharing of information
4.     offering of support during meetings
Then measure what you see.  For item 1) it could be both how often and how quickly.  With a couple of these you could very easily get a sense of the level of cooperation and also break it down and see who is and who is not holding up their end.  This also makes the giving of feedback much easier with less ambiguity. 

adffdasfdsfasddfsfadsdasfdas's picture

Hi again,

I thought I would add an answer if someone stumbles across this from google or an internal forum search. I decided to go with amount of time between responses and the number of people who knows each other on different sites, since this is the most qualitative measurements that I could find. 

If anyone is interested I can give my figures later on.