Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Count on it


“Show me the metrics.” “Prove that you are doing better, don’t just tell me about.” “What can we do to engrain the progress we have made.” “We need to be able to tell them. It is time for budget cuts, and they like graphs-can you make one to prove our effectiveness?”

All of the above has been said to me in the last month, which has brought me a new love in my life: excel/google spreadsheet. I have been religiously tracking many things in my life.

It started with my Army PT class. We had semester and midterm evals, which though mildly useful did not bring immediate changes (I have been in this class for 4 years now, so I have had a decent look at the squads.) Therefore After every workout I would rate how smoked I was (1 being should have stayed in bed, 10 equals puked passed out or dead) and how enjoyable the workout was (variety.) I would rate that for each segment of the morning (muscle endurance and run group) along with comments about what I liked and what we did. I did this every morning for a month, getting the rankings of my cadets. When I had enough data, I approached the lieutenant seeking advice on how to bring this up to my leadership (which I felt might be a touchy subject, as it was discussed with others over breakfast, but no one saw what the rankings were like.) It had to go out in order to mean something in real time. As we talked he became more and more excited about the idea and now it happens for every cadet rated by all participants at the end of the workout. The leadership gets immediate feedback, and I have noticed some changes within the next workout due to the effects of the metrics.

Thanks to google docs on my phone, I can also track my personal lifting (PT is great, but not enough to really excel in OCS.) After every lift I can track to see my weights becoming heavier and heavier and see what has been working well along with when is time to boost up. In one month I have increased my bench by 30 pounds.

Metrics can be used for almost every possible concept. What do you track?

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