What does success look like?
A good question. What does it look like? If you know, well done. If you are wondering that's healthy. If you just don't know start researching. In business we need to know what success is. The trouble is there are many different kinds of success. Some of these successes are more measurable than others, which is nice as those measurable measures help us succeed more. I was having a discussion last week about success and I am relating this to the health sector, however it can be used elsewhere. That discussion was about quantity vs quality. Do we measure success on quantity alone? In the health sector no. Why? You could have 100 people needing healthcare and you may screen/treat those 100 people. Well that is great, but if the quality of that treatment or preventative care has no quality then you end up with a bigger problem and that is, the 100 people need more treatment and maybe more intense treatment due to the lack of quality care in the first instance. Costing more money than the original quantity. That is not success, but the opposite. Quality is a form of getting to quantity and it is a journey that takes on many paths. Never the less success is measured by quantity via quality. This is why there are quality assurances that have recommendations on how a practice should function. This is true in many businesses not just health. Most businesses would have some sort of quality control. So we can determine that success is a process of quality which leads to quantity but how do we measure that? Again there are various ways of measuring and it is pretty simple. I like to uncomplicate what has often been complicated and find the true source of measure. There are simple steps to measuring success; 1. Performance management 2. Monitoring standards 3. Reports with recommendations 4. Actions These steps will show where the success is. Of course you must define the obvious first and make clear what you are performance managing and monitoring to be able to use this system well. There are other measures on how we are successful, and these depend on what you are measuring, for example customer surveys, staff surveys and appraisals are measures of activity and the quality being provided. A well planned and executed survey can be very useful in guiding a process in the right direction. I have often been asked what does success look like? I often reply, what do you want it to look like. This gives an indication of whether success is misgiuded and misplaced. If success is measured by internal processes and the internal system is getting drowned in policy then success will not break out into the holistic measurable arena. Success comes in many forms in business and measures vary. But the key is being able to say, I have helped 100 people by providing this service and 99 of those people recieved the quality service implemented. We measured this by monitoring these standards which clearly demonstrated that this procedure is working due to lowerering referrals to Timbucktoo. However the one that did not meet quality assurance number nine, indicated that the service provided does not allow access to the service for people with certain disability. Therefore the action is to fix the problem. Benchmark the data by the data you have, continue to monitor and report back in the next quarter, which may reveal that 100 of the people recieved what they should have due to the problem around disability being adjusted. Success may take time. Success is always on the move because we live in a changing world. The trick is not to get stuck on roundabouts. We need to jump off and start to action what we know will make a difference. So success for me tomorrow is providing a quality service and messuring that service through the results that I have rendered as a good standard. It is pretty simple and we measure success everyday as we live. If I cook dinner I follow a procedure (most of the time) the dinner is measured by how well it tastes. If it is good I will make it again. If not I will adjust the recipe and make it better. So now we know what success looks like.