Measuring Success

Everyone/every department/every company struggles with it. How do I measure success? (Well, maybe it really isn’t that hard for companies. Out of business? Unsuccessful. But you get my point.) And I think internal audit is the epitome of how that conundrum leads down false paths. We pine for objective measures — timely reports, hours of assurance, number of findings. But our measures of success are, at heart, truly subjective. And we must recognize that the traditional measurements toward which many of us gravitate are not accurate pictures of what we do; nor are they accurate portraits of success. 

With that in mind, I provide this link to an article by Steve Yastrow (guest writing for Tom Peters’ website.) I’ll be honest — it caught my eye with this opening statement: “’If you can’t measure it, you shouldn’t do it,’ is one of the stupidest concepts in business.” Amen, brother!
Don’t disregard this article because you think it is about marketing. First, if you are in internal audit, you are a marketer (probably the most important job you can do). Second, everything in this article is applicable to you, no matter where you work, no matter what your situation.
(Now excuse me, I have to see if my blogs are successful by measuring how many people respond.)

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 by Mike Jacka

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  1. Mike, back to you... can you take those 7 tests and reword them for IA?

  1. Good question, Norman.  Let me ruminate on that a while and post a response in the next few days.

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