Exercise № 8

Become measurable,
stay measurable!

Become precise!

A lot of things stand in the way of good planning: vague details, hazy ideas, unclear categories and parameters. An idea is just an idea if it isn’t measurable.

The moment your idea becomes reality, everybody should find it comprehensible and verifiable.In other words: becoming precise means being measurable! And precisely in the category which should be improved. Weight, quantity, speed, etc: for all these you need the right measuring instrument and, last but not least, the best options to display your good measurement results.

This is the only way you can keep your goal in focus. This isn’t just important for you personally but also for anyone who needs to evaluate the project based on sound arguments. This exercise is a step-by-step guide on how to achieve this goal –  Quod est demonstrandum!

Unit 1

Get smarter: Compare your goals with and without the S.M.A.R.T. method!

Go to unit

Unit 2

Mini Tutorials: Displaying measuring results clearly and bringing people up to date!

Go to unit

Unit 1

Unit 1:
Guiding principle

Become measurable!

Comparing goals

How S.M.A.R.T are you?

You may already be familiar with the S.M.A.R.T method. This method helps you set your most important project goals. The letters stand for the qualities of your goal:






Get to know the S.M.A.R.T parameters more closely and use our example to discover whether you can become more specific and thus more measurable!

Side-by-Side Comparison

Define the difference!

A company supplies facility management services within a 200 km radius. It employs around 250 service technicians. Appointments can be made for a service engineer to come out via the customer service hotline.

The company’s goal is that they send out technicians as soon as early as possible once a call from a client comes in. A further goal is effective route planning with short journey times so that more time can be spent at the client, thus improving customer satisfaction. Can that be achieved more specifically? Yes –  with S.M.A.R.T.!

Goal 1:

„We have to improve our planning process for appointments.“

Formulate your goal clearly and concisely without any scope for interpretation :

“We will improve our planning process for call-outs by streamlining and accelerating and in order to reduce travel costs, increase the time spent with the client and thus to achieve increased customer satisfaction.”

Goal 2:

„We have to reduce our costs and generate more appointments with clients.“

Support your target using quantitative data (KPIs) and intermediary steps as a guide for feasibility!

„We aim to gradually reduce our travel expenses by 7.5% and increase the productive time spent at clients‘ by 12.5% by 2023.“

Goal 3:

„We will deploy planning software.“

Define your goal attractively so that it is well-received by management and employees, without appearing too ambitious.”

„We will support our planning process using an adaptable optimization software which puts into relation journey times and appointments. We will include our employees in the installation of the system so that they acquire the practical experience necessary, thus ensuring that everybody can use the system.“

Goal 4:

„We have to reduce our travel costs by about 25% per quarter.“

Define your goal so that it appears achievable in order to avoid high expectations and prevent any frustration. Part-goals will be .. in connection with the overall situation (By the way, various realistic scenarios can be developed with OPTANO, by the way):

„Based on various future scenarios we first want to aim at reducing travel costs by 5% at most by the end of the year and in the next year by a further 2%“

Goal 5:

„Everything has to be implemented and achieved as soon as possible.”

Your goal needs to have a deadline so that you can keep the measures in focus. This deadline must and should define intermediary goals and include longer time periods:

„The optimization software for the planning system should be installed by 07/2021. Firstly, we’ll aim for a maximum cost reduction of 2% and a 3.5% increase in our productive call-out time at the client six months after having installed the software. After one year, we should have reached 3% and 5% respectively.”


»Once you have applied S.M.A.R.T: in a project, you will want to optimize your entire business with it.«

Unit 2

Unit 2:

Display your numbers!


Why not take a look at our blogs to get an impression of how convincing you can present your KPIs:

Tables, diagrams, maps, graphs and pivot charts

And our favorite – the pivot chart: It’s so easy to create in OPTANO


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Showing what you have achieved

Only very few people are able to visualize abstract KPIs in their head. What use are brilliant measurements and fantastic results if nobody can understand the numbers behind them?

There is a whole range of graphically visualized diagrams you can use that will help even the non-mathematicians to grasp the numbers. From a neurological perspective you can absorb these far better as they can be interpreted in image form. Here at OPTANO we have incorporated some of favourite diagram formats into our software so that scenarios and cost-benefit considerations can be visualized rapidly.


»Turn numbers into images and you’ll turn sceptics into enthusiasts.«


Homework № 8

Your goal in focus!

Finally! Homework that you actually doing! As mathematicians and software engineers, we love solving puzzles. This is why we’d like you to solve a little brainteaser at the end of each exercise. Our latest puzzle is all about probability.

Homework № 8: Keep your goal in focus!

A service engineer has an emergency appointment and needs to get to the client fast. He sets out in his car and drives at an average speed of 80 kph to ensure he gets to the client on time.

But, typical! Several roadworks and traffic jams mean that he only manages to do an average speed of 60kph for the first half of the journey. On average, how fast does he have to drive in the second half of the journey to ensure he gets there on time?

Note: We don’t know where the engineer starts his journey and this information is required to solve the puzzle.

Send your answer


1st Prize:

A photoshoot styled on our campaign
If your name is drawn, you will have the opportunity to choose a theme of your choice for your personal photoshoot. It can be your hobby, a business issue, whatever you want. The only condition is that it is complex enough and fits on a 1x1m table. The photoshoot will take place in Bielefeld, Germany. Travel expenses within Germany as well as an overnight stay in a hotel are included in the prize.

2nd – 5th Prizes:

Hardcover edition of »Things Come Apart.« by McLellan

6th – 10th Prizes:

Game »Die Kunst Aufzuräumen«

Legal Notice:

Dissembled objects will not be reassembled. Further technical agreements concerning the photoshoot will be clarified with you in advance. The photo shoot will take place in Bielefeld. The winner and OPTANO will be assigned the rights to the finished product once the negatives have been handed over.

Legal Notice

Conditions of Participation

This competition isn’t just for glory and prestige! Our first prize is a photoshoot in the style of our campaign. Conditions: You correctly answer all 10 of our fairly mind-boggling questions in our Exercise! Campaign. You can follow our campaign in our newsletter which you will receive as soon as a new exercise is online.

The competition closes in autumn 2020.

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