5.4. Summary

Implementation of your plans results in you and your team achieving things. These achievements take you step—by—step away from the failure abyss and closer to the land of survival. That is good, but if you don’t know where you are on that journey, it’s possible to keep making progress only to find that you are heading back towards failure. Keeping your eyes open and focussed on the things that are important will make your journey a more certain one. And for this purpose, we attach numbers to your achievements.


Make sure that your numbers are collected on a regular basis and are presented in a format suitable for analysis by a specific individual; this is TINA’s Analysis sector. Make someone responsible for the numbering activities and there’s less chance that they’ll be forgotten, with the result that you’ll have data. The primary responsibility of management (that’ll be your primary responsibility then!) is to make informed decisions about the direction in which your business is to travel (see Chapter 3: Planning Properly) and the information you will need comes from analysis of the data collected during your numbering activities.


Each step that you take on your business journey is, for our purposes here, classed as an achievement. Why? Well, if you think that getting that particular thing done would count as an achievement, then you’ll be more likely to measure it! Admittedly, it’s only really an ‘achievement’ if it can be celebrated, but even if your achievement is carrying you in the wrong direction, the fact that you are keeping an eye on it using your dashboard, means that you’ll know about it well before you fall into the failure abyss.


Determination of what are the critical achievements to measure in your business is one of the things that you and your team have to think about (see Chapter 3: Planning Properly). Having made those decisions, you’ll be able to prioritise the important achievement measurements and ensure that those achievements are uppermost in everyone’s mind as the ones that drive your business. Make sure that everyone is aware that focussing on the comfort of the car seat is somewhat less important that the speed at which you are travelling.


Numbers are great because numbers are objective. Asking someone how things are going will probably elicit an opinion. However, one person’s idea of ‘Okay’ is different from anothers. As the owner of the business, getting the answer ‘Okay’ is not what you want to hear, when you are trying to survive your early years as a start—up.


Assigning a value to your activities and achievements means that everyone can agree on the value of that value! Asking ‘How’s production?’ may result in a dozen vague, woolly answers. Asking ‘How does production output compare to target?’ when you are accurately measuring production, will give you an accurate (hopefully), objective answer with everyone can agree.

Use objective measurements, not subjective opinions

The result of you assigning numbers to various parts of your business is an output that we give the group name of data, which comes in a variety of states. You might be producing data concerning your enquiries, your customer requirements, the number of orders you received, the speed with which you can create what you sell, the cost of that creation, the speed with which your competitors are eating into your market, etc. But these data are of little use if they are not standardised and controlled.


Pulling the data together into a dashboard will, at a glance, allow you and your team to see where your business is up to. Your dashboard also provides your critical measures in easy to analyse blocks, which you can compare against your targets demonstrating your (hoped for) progress. In addition, it’ll help you establish routines and schedules for the collection and analysis of the data that will come later.