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Quantify your Impact

by Randall Craig on October 21, 2008

Filed in: Blog, Career Planning, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Management, Promotion

Tagged as: , ,

For the best investors, each investment requires a prospectus or annual report. For the best business managers, each new initiative requires a business case. For the best project managers, each project requires a project charter.

The purpose of these documents is to list the benefits, identify the costs, define the scope of activity, and possibly mitigate the risks. Each of these purposes has one thing in common: Numbers. Quantification.

But what about each employee – what does each employee require?

Each employee requires a job description, along with specific objectives. While this seems obvious, many don’t have this in writing, and rely at best on a general understanding of responsibilities. Without this description and objectives, how do you know when you have done precisely the right thing? Or not enough of the right thing?

Unfortunately, many of us are clever enough to understand the basics of the job, but we rarely spend the time quantifying our activities, or their impact. This leads to problems during annual performance reviews. Because there is so little quantification, it is easy for others to assume that you have made little impact.

If you are in this situation, here are some ideas on how to retrofit numbers into your job description:

  • Project Size: People, Budget, etc.
  • Personal Productivity: Utilization, Quota, Sales levels, Items processed, etc.
  • Business Impact: Savings dollars, Savings %, Increased Revenue, Absolute Revenue, Reduced Process Time, Changed inventory levels, etc.

This week’s action item: Not having numbers also causes problems when pulling together a resume, or applying for a more senior role within the organization. Unless the hiring manager or recruiter can see the impact that you have made, and the scale/scope of your capabilities, they will assume that you are not qualified to fill the role. This week, review each of your activities, and put numbers to them. Then do the same with your resume.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)