Tracking results or Untracking?

Here’s something thought-provoking –

I just read this article on zenhabits: “Untrack: Letting Go of the Stress of Measuring” http://zenhabits.net/untrack/

He is talking about this in the context of one’s personal goals, but I think it also applies (or even more so) to development work. I know that in “the development community” (or industry or whatever you want to call it), everyone has rather recently bought into the business management truism that you must have goals that must be tracked so you can show your results. And it is in producing measurable results which can be tracked and reported upon that an organisation or project demonstrates its worth.

However, will that really get us where we want to go? Will that really create the world we would like to see?

I’m not so sure.

Certainly in practice, I must say that what I’ve seen is mostly tracking and measuring things that do not make any real difference on the ground, that make foreign organisations look good while more firmly entrenching the issue or problem they seek to “solve.”

Thoughts?

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2 Responses to Tracking results or Untracking?

  1. Jill says:

    In my field of education a common result is choosing goals that are easy to measure instead of goals that are more essential to accomplish.

  2. tlongacre says:

    Jill, yes, exactly. In fact, we have an entire methodology around this called “project management.”

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