Here's a crash course on the reasonable and unreasonable (quantophrenic) use of indicators (business metrics):
Given a reliable indicator (sign) of a concrete problem, there is a concrete problem.
If the problem is resolved concretely, the indicators should represent (track/signal) that.
I>P (If I then P)
~P > ~I (If not P then not I)
This is a logically valid form of reasoning. It spurs committed people to remedy the concrete problem.
A simple example for illustrative purposes: Imagine that an unexpectedly high number of employees have been on long term acting assignments in different parts of your organization. What does that indicate? Let's say you do some research and your investigation reveals that, although there are a number of bona fide developmental activities occurring, the problem is due to cumbersome staffing processes and a weakness in integrating business and HR planning, making assignments a quick remedy. So what do you do? You reason that if you streamline staffing and pay more attention to resourcing with respect to projected business requirements, over time, your numbers should diminish to levels that would be expected given developmental activities.
Given some accurate indicator (sign) of a concrete problem, there is a concrete problem.
If the indicators have changed for the better, the problem has been concretely resolved.
~I > ~P
IS NOT a valid form of reasoning (it commits what logicians call "the fallacy of denying the antecedent"), and in itself a sign of a problem; i.e., tick box management.
To illustrate, using the previous example, an unexpectedly high number of employees on long term acting assignments indicates problems with cumbersome staffing processes and a weakness in integrating business and HR planning. So what do you do? To meet your indicator target, you remove everyone from their acting assignments. Obviously, you have met your indicator target 100%, but you have not solved the concrete problem, in fact you have quite clearly exacerbated it.
This is a very simplistic example, but it illustrates the potential dangers of metrics as business drivers.
Question: what drives quantophrenia?