Lag vs. Lead Measures

In the book 4 Disciplines of Execution, authors Sean Covey, Chris McChesney and Jim Huling review Lead and Lag measures.

“Lead measures” are actions that affect the outcome, while “lag measures” report the success of past activities.

“Lag measures” report whether you’ve completed a goal by computing your success after you act, for example, consumer satisfaction reports and revenue calculations. Unfortunately, by the time you receive the results of lag measurements, you have already completed the activities they cover.

“Lead measures” are more within your control. While a lag measure might report your car’s repair record, a lead measure might note how much routine maintenance you’ve done to prevent repairs.

In summary, by setting action plans against Lead measures, your team can be predictive of future important goals and should influence lag measures to depict the team is winning.

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