Podcast #325 – Andrea Hardaway, Making Metrics Matter


Joining me for Episode #325 of the podcast is Andrea Hardaway, an operational leader and the executive director of the Association for Vocal Disorders.

Andrea and I first crossed paths through LinkedIn, seeing what she shares there and vice versa. We also had a chance to visit a hospital together in Florida last year to learn about their Lean improvement work. We have enough professional interests in common, I thought it made sense to record a conversation and share it here with the listeners.

Andrea has worked in manufacturing, healthcare, and other parts of the service sector and has seen common themes across industries. This includes the opportunity to better use metrics in a way that resonates with staff and is connected to improvement work, something I'm also very interested in.

So, we talk about that and more in this episode.

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For a link to this episode, refer people to www.leanblog.org/325.

For earlier episodes of my podcast, visit the main Podcast page, which includes information on how to subscribe via RSS, through Android appsor via Apple Podcasts.  You can also subscribe and listen via Stitcher or Spotify.

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Topics and notes for this episode:

  • Can you share a bit of your background as it relates to metrics in the workplace?
  • What are some basic best practices for metrics?
    • Can data lead to better decisions (and not just based on one data point)
    • What is actually happening? What's the story?
  • Common themes:
    • Quality, Finance, Schedule, Morale, Satisfaction
    • Are there differences in services? If so, what?
  • What are indicators that a metric is actually resonating with a team or department?
    • How do metrics connect to me?
    • A “visceral response” to fluctuations? Are there “random reactions?”
  • How are empathy and efforts to build trust taken into account?
    • Why does Andrea go into a situation assuming she is not trusted?
  • What makes a really good goal?
  • How can you get the teams to challenge themselves?
  • What can you do if you feel a metric is not resonating?
  • Her book recommendation: How to Measure Anything 

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

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