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Metrics, Indicators, KPIs: Should Success always be Measurable?

You know the maxim: “What gets measured, gets done”. The same doctrine is applied everywhere.

In business of course where maximising profits is paramount, in the public sector too where public policies are evaluated based on their impact on population’s health, education, and even happiness, and in non-profit organisations where metrics and indicators are now used to justify any action.

But why exactly measuring things makes them more likely to happen?

Most people don’t become volunteers because of metrics. Revolutions don’t happen because of KPIs becoming red on a dashboard. Public debate doesn’t happen because citizens’ participation is tracked, but because people want to participate. Measuring things can also reduce passion, and make them less likely to happen.

Why do some things need to get measured and others don’t?

Part of Digressive Society