Measures of Success (Book + Digital Extras)
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Measures of Success

React Less, Lead Better, Improve More

About the Book

Learn more at the official website for the book. A paperback version is now available through and other retailers. It's also available in a hardcover edition.


Organizations depend on metrics for their business. Question is, are they helping people do the right things? Or, encouraging them to overreact to every uptick, downturn, and change?

In other words, reacting to noise.

Noise is present in every metric. But, it’s our reaction to noise that causes waste and stress. Too often, people don’t recognize this. 

Like feeling stuck on a rollercoaster you no longer enjoy.

We do and explain things that don’t help us improve. At the cost of doing things that do. No need to be jittery about every change in a metric. Not by a long shot.

Measures of Success shows a better way to chart and manage your metrics, in any organization or setting. For your business processes and activities, you need to know what’s working, what’s not, and what to change. And why. Then, you can determine what to stop doing, what to start doing, what to keep doing

So you can…

Jump off the metrics rollercoaster, by responding to signals.

Systematically. Sustainably. 

Learn how to identify statistically meaningful signals in a metric. To respond just right. 

Or perhaps, not at all. 

You’ll learn how with methods easy to understand, making it obvious what activities to do next. Loads of vivid stories and clear examples from healthcare, software companies, and more. With compelling case studies from the news and personal lives, too. 

“What gets measured gets managed.“

We’ve all heard that. But did you ever learn how to manage a metric? This ain’t about gaming the system or fudging the numbers. This is about delivering real value, understood by everyone, and proven with data.

Learn a better way to manage your measures.


"MEASURES OF SUCCESS will help you tame the firehose of data flooding your organization, turning it into an orderly stream of information you can use to improve your business. With clarity and precision, Mark Graban steps through the process of collecting and analyzing the kind of data you focus on — activities that add value for your customers rather than activities that are just wasted motion. If you’re navigating a tough business environment, you need this book."
-- Daniel H. Pink, Author of WHEN and DRIVE



…in healthcare, manufacturing, and services. Who know what to measure, and are now ready to learn how to manage those measurements. And…


  • Challenge and change the way things are done today
  • Motivate workers to think and do them differently tomorrow
  • Coach people, versus telling them what to do
  • Be responsible for results, not hold others accountable
  • Encourage people to collaborate, not compete
  • Help people sleep better at night because they’re improving their work during the day


Measures of Success is not for leaders who’d rather give orders. Then, blame others when things go south. That whole hit the target or else thing… won’t create real change, nor real value. But that ain’t you, right?


"By combining a range of case studies and stories across industries, including many from his own personal experience, with detailed, clear explanations of what Process Behavior Charts are and why they're so effective for managing data, Mark Graban has written a readable, informative book to guide any leader who wants to help an organization achieve true and lasting success. Improvement has been made easier thanks to his work"
-- Eric Ries, Author of The Lean Startup and The Startup Way


…you’ll be able to answer three critical questions for your business.

1) Are we achieving our target?

And, how often? Occasionally? Consistently?

2) Are we improving?

And, can we predict our future performance?

3) How do we improve?

And, when do we react? When do we ignore? When do we improve? 


How would you feel if you could answer these questions for your business?

Measures of Success shows you how.


Measures of Success is a book for business leaders. Though it’s based on statistical methods, anyone will understand how to use these. 

No reason to feel intimidated - this ain’t calculus, nor rocket science, either. 

Learn to respond versus react to changes in metrics. Have better conversations, creating better outcomes. Backed by numbers over opinions. And…

Prove it all. Visually. In seconds.

With charts and other visuals to show, rather than tell.


Key takeaways for Measures of Success.

  • Don’t manage the metric. Do manage the work. Metrics are the result of your work. Improving work improves results.
  • Two data points are not a trend. Three? Four? Not usually. A dozen or more? You betcha.
  • Data only has meaning when compared over time. Context tells the story.
  • A chart tells a better story than a list of numbers. Every. Time.
  • More than what happened, be able to predict what’s likely to happen.
  • Fluctuations occur for every metric. Process behavior charts show what to respond to, what to ignore.
  • Save your breath and time explaining the noise of a metric, since there’s no ‘root cause’.
  • Measure often. Weekly over monthly. Daily, even better. Respond thoughtfully, versus react mindlessly.

Want to react less, lead better, and improve more with a better story for your organization? Who wouldn’t, right?


...around this whole signals from noise thing? 

Listen and watch how this affects your organization.

Listen to a podcast with Mark discussing the book and his use of Leanpub.


Order here through LeanPub and you'll receive a ZIP file with a number of digital extras:

  • Excel template for Process Behavior Charts
  • Summary of Key Points (PDF)
  • Quick Reference Guide - Rules for Finding Signals (PDF)
  • Audio File - Audiobook-Style Content of Early Book Material
  • 30 Minutes of Free Virtual Coaching (if you pay the suggested price of $19.99 or higher)
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    • Leadership
    • Lean
    • Quality Management
    • Startups
    • Lean Six Sigma
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About the Author

Mark Graban
Mark Graban

I help people in many industries improve their business processes and results. With methods grounded in Lean, math and science backed by data. Better to make choices based on facts instead of opinions, hunches, or feelings. Learn how to convert data, metrics, and charts into knowledge and wisdom driving more improvement. That’s what I do and why I wrote Measures of Success. Learn more about Mark.


Book + Digital Extras

The full text of "Measures of Success" in PDF, MOBI, and EPUB formats. Plus digital extras, including a spreadsheet template, quick reference sheets, an offer for free virtual coaching, and more to come.


  • extras
    Podcast: Audiobook-Style

    Audiobook-Style Reading of the First Part of the Book

  • extras
    Rules for Finding Signals
  • extras
    Summary of Key Points
  • extras
    PBC Template
  • EPUB

  • English

Minimum price
Suggested price
Book + Digital Extras + 30 Minutes Free Coaching

If you pay the suggested price of $19.99 or higher, you can schedule a 30-minute virtual coaching call with Mark to discuss your Process Behavior Chart efforts.


  • extras
    Podcast: Audiobook-Style

    Audiobook-Style Reading of the First Part of the Book

  • extras
    30 Minutes Free Coaching
  • extras
    Rules for Finding Signals
  • extras
    Summary of Key Points
  • extras
    PBC Template
  • EPUB

  • English

Minimum price
Suggested price

Reader Testimonials

Donald J. Wheeler, Ph.D.
Donald J. Wheeler, Ph.D.

Author of "Understanding Variation: The Key to Managing Chaos"

...everyone who is exposed to business data of any type needs to read this book.

Quint Studer
Quint Studer

Author of "Hardwiring Excellence"

We all know hard work doesn’t guarantee results. So many organizations generate great ideas but can’t execute them. Smart leaders with the best intentions stay stressed out and frustrated by a lack of improvement. And as the business world gets more complex, these problems get worse. Mark Graban explains why the management methods we were taught don’t work. The data-driven decision-making techniques in this book will stop you from confusing activity with progress and—finally—get things done.

Harvey Leach
Harvey Leach

Principal Consultant, The Consultancy Company, Oxford, England

Mark's book is a great introduction to getting more from your performance data. Building on Don Wheeler’s great work on Process Behaviour Charts (PBCs), he highlights many common errors that leaders make with measures then explains how using PBCs with simple improvement approaches will significantly increase performance in your organisation. This book brings much-needed clarity to this important topic and will be invaluable to anyone seeking to make sustainable improvements to their processes.

Dan Markovitz
Dan Markovitz

Founder of Markovitz Consulting and Author of "A Factory of One" and "Building the Fit Organization"

Mark has hit another home run with this work. "Measures of Success" is the book that everyone who is serious about improvement needs to read. It provides clear, actionable, and essential guidance to the art and science of measurement that will guide your improvement efforts and ensure that you don’t waste time obsessing over irrelevancies. Your management team — and your front line workers — will thank you for learning the lessons contained in this book

Jon Miller
Jon Miller

Partner, Gemba Academy

When I encountered Don Wheeler’s 'Understanding Variation' and 'Making Sense of Data' early in my career, it was eye-opening. Now, Mark Graban’s 'Measures of Success' offers an engaging and practical guide on how we can use Process Behavior Charts to keep our eyes open and focused on the information that matters to our success. 'Measures of Success' is a worthy successor to Wheeler’s work and an essential addition to any Lean or Six Sigma learning library.

Karen Martin
Karen Martin

President, TKMG, Inc., Author of books including "Clarity First" and "The Outstanding Organization"

Disciplined process management is an essential practice for achieving outstanding performance in any organization. Mark has produced an excellent book to help improvement professionals and leaders alike gain clarity about how their processes are actually performing to drive more relevant improvement. Bravo!

Dr. Greg Jacobson
Dr. Greg Jacobson

CEO and Co-Founder, KaiNexus

Mark Graban taught the KaiNexus team how to understand the story a metric is actually telling over time. We've saved time by not overanalyzing every up and down in our metrics — and that’s valuable time we now put to better use. This new way of thinking also decreases stress, which further helps us do better work. I'm excited that Mark is sharing these lessons through 'Measures of Success,' a book that will help accelerate your progress and lead to better results.

Matthew E. May
Matthew E. May

Author, "The Elegant Solution" and "Winning the Brain Game"

While the old cliche that “the numbers don’t lie” may be true, what Mark Graban so insightfully makes clear in his new book "Measure of Success" is that our mental biases and attribution errors can often twist the truth. More importantly, he shows us precisely how to avoid the data interpretation traps that can lead us astray in our attempts to improve our systems.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword by Donald J. Wheeler, Ph.D.
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Improving the Way We Improve
  • Chapter 2: Using Process Behavior Charts for Metrics
  • Chapter 3: Action Metrics, not Overreaction Metrics
  • Chapter 4: Linking Charts to Improvement
  • Chapter 5: Learning From “The Red Bead Game”
  • Chapter 6: Looking Beyond the Headlines
  • Chapter 7: Linear Trend Lines and Other Cautionary Tales
  • Chapter 8: Workplace Cases and Examples
  • Chapter 9: Getting Started With Process Behavior Charts
  • Appendix A: How to Create Process Behavior Charts
  • Appendix B: Summary of Key Points
  • Appendix C: About the Author
  • Exclusive Digital Extras -- Templates, Reference Sheets, and More

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