Ten Years of How to Measure Anything

On August 3, 2007, the first edition of How to Measure Anything was published.  Since then, Doug Hubbard has written two more editions, three more books, in eight languages for a total of over 100,000 books sold.  How to Measure Anything is required reading in several university courses and is now required reading for the Society of Actuaries Exam prep.

Over the years, Hubbard Decision Research has completed over 100 major measurement projects for clients in several industries and professions.  Clients included The United Nations, the Department of Defense, NASA, a dozen Fortune 500 companies, and several Silicon Valley startups.

Just since the first book, Hubbard Decision Research has trained over 1000 people in the Applied Information Economics methods.  HDR has also been given several new measurement challenges including the following:

  • drought resilience in the Horn of Africa
  • the risk of a mine flooding in Canada
  • the value of roads and schools in Haiti
  • the risk and return of developing drugs, medical devices and artificial organs,
  • the value and risks of new businesses
  • the value of restoring the Kubuqi Desert in Inner Mongolia
  • the value and risks of upgrading a major electrical grid
  • new cybersecurity risks
  • ….just to name a few

We have a lot going on in this anniversary year.  Here are some ways you can participate.

  • Have you been using methods from How to Measure Anything to solve some critical measurement problem?  Let us know your story.  We will be giving the top 3 entries up to $1,000 worth of How to Measure Anything webinars including your choice of any of the “Intro” webinars, Calibration training, and AIE Analyst training or time on the phone with Doug Hubbard.  Send your entry to HTMA@hubbardresearch.com by Friday, August 11.
  • We are continuing our research for a future topic “How to Measure Anything in Project Management”  If you are in the field of project management, you can help with the research by filling out our project management survey.  In exchange, you get a discount on project management webinars and a copy of the final report.
  • We are offering an anniversary special for books and webinars for a limited time.
  • See Doug Hubbard team up with Sam Savage in Houston and DC for our joint Probabilitymanagement.org seminars on modeling uncertainty and reducing uncertainty with measurements.

 

Five Data Points can Clinch a Business Case [article]

Pop quiz: which of the following statements about decisions do you agree with:

  1. You need at least thirty data points to get a statistically significant result.
  2. One data point tells you nothing.
  3. In a business decision, the monetary value of data is more important than its statistical significance.
  4. If you know almost nothing, almost anything will tell you something.

(more…)

The Measurement Inversion

Think about the last time your company was faced with an investment in information technology – as an example. Perhaps you were deciding on a CRM platform, an upgrade to your replenishment or logistics software… – you can imagine such a scenario.  Regardless of the exact details, you might recall reviewing a business case for this “technology investment”. Perhaps you were even responsible for the development of the business case. (more…)

NIST 800-30 still has defenders

Jack Jones, the inventor of the FAIR method for assessing cybersecurity risk, comments on a defense of NIST 800-30 by someone who commented on one of his blogs.  I take Jack’s side on this.  For those of you who have read my books, NIST 800-30 is one of the standards that promotes methods I spend a lot of time debunking (ordinal scales for risks, risk matrices, etc.).
(more…)

Snow Daze

It has been a heck of a winter for Portland, OR. The city has had nine school closure days due to snow and other winter weather. Per local reports, the metro area has been effectively shut down on many of these days. Portland’s transportation bureau budgets $300K a year for materials to respond to winter storms, and has 55 snowplows. In contrast, Portland’s GDP is $160 B/year which translates to $635 MM per work day.

At first blush, there is an intuitive sense that spending a fraction of a percent of one day’s GDP is going to be less than the optimal amount, but there are some mitigating factors. (more…)