Seems like this has been the topic du jour for me! I recently presented at the Educause Midwest Regional Conference with my good friend Don Padgett – and we did our best to convince our audience to stop setting targets when using metrics for improvement. It wasn’t a hard sell since most of those in attendance were doers vs. leaders. It seems that those who are tasked with developing, collecting, analyzing and reporting metrics have no problem with this concept.
I wrote a short article for EdTech magazine on the topic (just published): http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2013/05/incorporate-metrics-improve-it-service
And am finishing up a longer, more in depth piece for The Cutter Consortium. There are exceptions of course (as there are with all things). I have no problem with people setting targets for themselves (although there are still risks and problems with this). The main point is that we have to stop looking at our metrics and then deciding that they’d be more useful if we set a target!
I’ll write soon about why metrics should NOT be seen as “actionable.” Why we shouldn’t make “data-driven decisions.” Yes, I understand I may be fighting an uphill battle and doomed for failure…but what fun would it be if everyone already agreed?
Feel free to read the article listed above and weigh in with your thoughts!