What Really Counts

A good friend of mine shared an Albert Einstein quote with me, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

I thought about this for a long time and tried to apply it to my life.

At work as EAM Consultants, we are constantly asked about Best Practices and KPIs: what are they, and how do you measure them? Most people want volumes and volumes of practices and calculations and calculations of indicators. All these things can be counted, but most don’t count.

A great example of this is a very commonly tracked KPI – the total number of work orders in a given period. I have to ask…who cares?

Rather, a KPI that does count is the percentage of those work orders that are planned – because planned work is safer, more efficient and effective, and less expensive to execute. Just because you can track the number of work orders over a period of time, doesn’t mean that you’re getting the most important data from this measurement – and just because you can count it, doesn’t mean it counts.

Similarly, in my personal life as a recreational sports coach and wannabe scout, we learn to measure physical attributes that can be counted. We measure things like player size, speed, strength, etc. Indeed, these all matter, but you also have to look for the intangibles that can’t be counted – things like attitude, heart, and leadership. After all, these are what make the difference between a good and a great athlete.

Advoco’s ROI – Reliable Operation Initiative – helps you become mission-driven and starts by counting the things that actually count. ROI is a process that ties your investment in EAM to your mission. This in turn connects organization improvements with operations improvement through development of practices that count and an EAM configuration with KPIs that count.

Until next time...we are Advoco, make every minute count!

About James: James serves as Advoco’s Maintenance Improvement Practice Lead. His career has been dedicated to Reliable Plant Operations Performance, with experience ranging from “mega projects on a global scale” with Fluor Corporation to owning and operating a South Carolina-based plant services company. Known affectionately in the office by his childhood nickname Jimbo, he is passionate about restoring the value and pride in American Manufacturing through our Reliable Operation Initiative (ROI) and PRIDE in Maintenance implementation approach. He’s also known for dropping “idea bombs” – his way of challenging others to think differently in order to solve problems. If you have a question for James or Jimbo (he answers to both!), please send him an email.


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