Most of us probably remember being warned by Mom that too much of a good thing can be bad for you (perhaps while you were gobbling up your Halloween candy). The same concept applies to measurement of outsource providers. The hallmark of the “Measurement Minutiae” ailment is trying to measure everything. The sheer volume of Measurement Minutiae that some organizations are able to create is simply remarkable. We have found spreadsheets with 50 to 100 metrics on them. Measurement Minutiae often is associated with companies that are suffering from the Junkyard Dog Factor [link to blog 4] and agreements that are typified by the Activity Trap.
One technology provider we visited had so many metrics that a formal “binder” was necessary to keep track of everything each month. Company executives were embarrassed to tell us the total person-hours across all the organizations that were required to contribute to these spreadsheets. Now, this isn’t a wasted effort if the company is getting positive results from the efforts based on the improvements its staff members are making. Unfortunately our experience shows that few companies have the diligence to actively manage all of the metrics they have created.