Guest blog by Tracy Brower, PhD, MM, MCRw

You know you should be measuring your results. You know how critical positive outcomes are for the business case you make for real estate and the workplace. But knowing what to measure and how can be overwhelming. Today, we can gain helpful insights into the work experience through a lot of measurement methods. But in some ways, the complexity has made things much more complicated.

Here’s how to navigate the sea of measurement possibilities to make a compelling business case and continuously improve: First, identify your true north. Figure out the overall business impact you want to have and the guiding principles of the organization or group you’re serving through real estate and facilities solutions. This true north will guide your efforts and ensure you’re measuring what matters most.

Next, make things behavioral. For each of the overall business goals or principles that you identified in step one, determine what you’ll be seeing and hearing in the company if you accomplish those outcomes. What will people be saying or doing? These will give you behavioral indicators for the true north you’ve established.

Third, determine all the ways you can measure the behaviors. Consider qualitative approaches such as observation, interviews or focus groups. Also, consider quantitative approaches like sensing systems, light meters or occupancy metrics. Make the list of potential measurements as exhaustive as possible. After all, the best way to get a great idea is to have a lot of ideas.

Fourth, perform an effort-impact analysis. For each of the potential measurements you’ve defined in step three, plot the degree of effort necessary and the extent of impact they’ll have. For example, interviews are relatively easy to conduct and probably have medium impact on a company that prefers data-driven decision making. Sensing studies may be more of an investment in terms of effort, but have a big payoff when it comes to making a solid, quantitative case for change.

Fifth, select the “just right” amount of measurements to implement. Strive to have as many as necessary, but as few as possible. Don’t overdo it. Instead, select as many metrics as you think you’ll need to convince your culture real estate and facilities changes matter. Start with the “low effort/high impact” area of your analysis—these are your low hanging fruit and things you can do immediately. Also, strategically select measurements from your “high effort/high impact” assessment to consider more comprehensive approaches that will serve you in the longer-term.

Finally, implement, learn and continuously improve. Put your measurement strategies into practice and monitor results. Perhaps the most important part of measurement is what you do with the insights you gain. Be sure to report on results that make you a hero and that help you optimize your real estate. Also, ensure you’re taking steps to continuously improve. Never be satisfied and strive to continue innovating and progressing based on what you’re learning about the work experience you’re creating.

Tracy Brower, PhD, MM, MCRw

Measurement options are a sea of possibility, but they don’t need to be overwhelming. Be intentional and take these straightforward steps. In no time, you’ll be enjoying the success a data-driven business case and an informed continuous improvement strategy can create.