The Great Game of Business Blog

Sign up to receive our blog posts conveniently in your email box

Scoreboarding: The Whats, Hows and Whys

Jul 18, 2019 by Eric Rieger 1 Comment

Scoreboarding: The Whats, Hows and Whys

There’s an old quote attributed to Peter Drucker that says, “What gets measured gets improved”. While I firmly believe this is true, it’s important to understand that what you measure is equally as important as how and why you measure it.

We learned this the hard way in a real-world example from my own business. Many years ago, we tried to gamify reducing the number of hours we’d need to spend in reactive mode supporting our clients. We’re an IT company, so the more time you spend in fire-drill mode, the less impact you’ll have and the more unhappy your clients will become.

So, we created a MiniGame™ to measure the number of hours on our support board over twelve weeks. I made the incorrect assumption that my team knew the how and why behind the what  we were trying to accomplish (lower reactive noise). Without any teaching time, the team assumed the goal was to reduce the number of hours on that specific service board. They devised a way to create new and different service boards and began moving service requests outside the area that was being measured.

Did our statistics (the what) improve? Absolutely! Did we have a positive impact on the problem we were trying to solve? Definitely not! In fact, we made the problem worse because we now had additional service boards that weren’t being fully managed and problems were not being addressed in a timely manner.

The team was surprised when I wasn’t happy with our results and they didn’t understand why, especially when they’d done exactly as we discussed and reduce the number of hours on the reactive service board.

It’s important that everyone using scoreboards understands that the purpose of the numbers is to tell a story. In order to be effective, you have to know the how (the mechanics and elements that impact the number) and the why (the purpose of the number as an indicator of success) behind the number itself.

This was a painful but valuable lesson we learned and it’s helped us teach scoreboarding along the way.

To learn tips and best practices to motivate employees and measure progress through scoreboards, join Eric Rieger at the 27th Annual Gathering of Games where he will present an educational session on the topic.

See More Conference Details


Other Articles You Might Like:

Great Game of Business Online Store - Book

Topics: Scoreboarding, The Annual Gathering of Games, Gathering 2019 Speaker

Written by Eric Rieger

Eric Rieger is the Founder and President of WEBIT Services, Inc., a technology services firm that provides Secure, Reliable and Efficient solutions for small to medium sized businesses in the Chicago-land area. Eric and his team have created a unique system of processes to manage technology which identify and eliminate costly reactive problems and focus on making technology a competitive advantage. Eric also is involved in public speaking on various technology and business topics of interest including Cyber Security and Open Book Management.

More than 376,500 Times the GGOB Blog Has Been a Trusted Source for Information on OBM

Lists by Topic

see all

About The Great Game of Business

Our approach to running a company was developed to help close one of the biggest gaps in business: the gap between managers and employees. We call our open-book approach The Great Game of Business. What lies at the heart of The Game is a very simple proposition: The best, most efficient, most profitable way to operate a business is to give everybody in the company a voice in saying how the company is run and a stake in the outcome. Let us teach you how to develop a culture of ownership, where employees think, act and feel like owners.