Differentiating measurement errors and management issues

Corporations report measurement errors to their customers all the time. Here’s a simple two step test to determine the difference between measurement errors and management issues –

  1. If the number of times you’ve unearthed measurement errors in your business is <=2, they are likely just errors.
  2. If you’ve found more than 2 errors and if the errors repeatedly favor you over the customer, then they aren’t measurement errors. We are looking at management issues that are likely manifesting themselves in everything you do.

For example, I’ve been a Comcast subscriber for 13 months now. I’ve called or live chatted with customer service to report measurement errors 9 times in 6 of the 13 months. And, each time, the error involved Comcast charging me more than they should have. Hence, not a measurement error but a management issue.

As a customer, keep a lookout for repeated measurement errors that count against you. Such businesses have management issues that are going to pop up in the future as well.

And, as a builder of products and services, if you find yourself dealing with repeated measurement errors, take a long, hard look at the incentives and culture you’ve created.