Rule 10 - Measure It

You care about what you measure, so measure what you care about.

You don't know, what you don't know.


Never have truer words been spoken. It is always the unknown unknowns that get you. Because they blind side you when you are looking the other way.

What gets measured gets managed.

Peter Drucker

If you want people to focus on something, ask them to measure it. And pop quiz them each day about what the number is. The pop quiz will help:

  • Force them to understand what is going on1;
  • Give you a level of confidence they have the situation under control. If from day to day they know how the number has changed and why;
  • Reinforce that this is important to you;
  • Allow you adapt sooner to changes. With the level of detail or how often you measure being relative to the complexity and size;

Measurement is fabulous. Unless you are busy measuring what is easy to measure as opposed to what's important.

Seth Godin

Worried about not meeting program: measure how many m3 of concrete have gone in, tonnes of reinforcement or dollars spent to date.

Worried about the budget: measure man hours, plant hours or wastage.

One accurate measurement, is worth a thousand expert opinions.


The best tool I have found for measuring on construction projects is Earn Value Analysis (EVA). It allows you to measure scope, time and costs against planned work.

If you don't know how your are performing relative to the plan, how do you know when you are off track and need correction?


Check out the The Engineering Rule Book for the other rules.

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