The Units Mixup That Cost $328m

On December 11th 1998 NASA launched the Mars Climate Orbiter. The probe was designed to measure water distribution on the surface of Mars.  286 days later the $328 million probe arrived at Mars, missing the correct orbit by 100km. The probe dipped into the atmosphere, overheating the engine system. The probe crashed into the surface […]

KPI Definition- 13 questions you need to answer

If there’s one simple tool that you can put into action today that will dramatically improve the quality of your KPIs and add a stack of professional credibility to your reputation, good quality KPI definition is it. What I’m about to describe may sound very obvious and simple, but that doesn’t make it any less […]

Defining KPIs: How the wrong KPI shut schools

Defining KPIs clearly is crucial. Badly defined KPIs have unfortunate side effects. The cobra effect is one of my favourites. Most people agree that going to school is good for children. This means that there is a government focus on truancy as a measure. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons why children cannot get to school. One such reason is snow. A singular focus on truancy […]

30 Second Tip: An obvious thing that never gets done….

Define you measures. Make sure each measure is clearly described, has an owner, has a documented way of calculating it, the source of the information, what it’s intended to do, how it should be reported and what action should be taken based on what it’s saying. Here is a KPI Definition Checklist that will help you do […]