Metrics ... what gets measured gets done. Metrics are very important ... because what gets measured gets done. This is more powerful than the measures themselves might suggest, in part because of the deep complexity of people both individually and as a group.
What does measurement tell you? Maybe the first thing that measurement tells you is that the goals are not really what they should be. What is measured may be what the entity is trying to do ... so when activities are measured and not impact, it is an indication that activities have priority over results. This is a common problem and rarely addressed. It is a problem that the TVM system addresses at its core.
TVM has its origins in technical engineering measurement, economic measurement and corporate accountancy.
A key feature is simple but powerful organization of data so that they are useful without creating unmanageable data overload.
Data must be objective and independent in order to be believable
How to measure. It usually is very easy to know what to measure if two things are known:
(1) what are the goals or objectives; and
(2) what is the technology or science that is or may be used.
Materiality. Measure what is important ... measure what makes sense. How to measure cost is easy. Price is easy as well. Value is more difficult ... and all the more reason for having it central to the analysis system, and being able to prepare reports that look at results from different perspectives.
Progress ... relative to what? The progress of science and technology has been spectacular over the last century ... but too much of this has been used in ways that have done damage rather than good. Military engineering has adopted new great science faster than civilian engineering ... with predictable results. The application of science has followed financial profit and rarely social value.
Social progress has been rather disappointing ... far less of peace and prosperity than one should have expected. Science and technology ... knowledge about these things has improved exponentially over the past 50 years along a trajectory driven by, inter alia, Moore's Law. But for much of middle class society times are tougher. Why? Performance of leadership ... of public policy and its practice ... has been poor.