“Measure what matters." -- John Doerr

I love playing games, and I'm currently hooked on a few. My mom and I have a weekly game marathon where we challenge each other to Yahtzee or Scrabble, tracking our highest scores over the years. I also enjoy solo games like Wordle and Cozy Grove, where success is measured by performance, such as how quickly I solve a puzzle or how many tasks I complete.

Successful transformation in our lives needs to be measured similarly, as keeping score brings energy, growth, and fulfillment. Measurement matters because activity alone doesn't equal success. You can work hard but still not achieve desired results if you're working on the wrong things.

Rob Hoskins, co-author of Change Your World, faced this measurement disconnect in his organization. He developed a framework called the "Five Ds" to ensure he gathered data, tracked progress, and measured positive change for any problem or issue he addressed.

The Five Ds Framework


"It's good to slow down and ask the right questions, but not everyone does -- or does it well." This step helps fully understand the reality of the problem, issue, or circumstance you're trying to transform. Ask questions that:

  • Reveal the truth of what's going on,
  • Look at the hard facts, and
  • Identify who should be involved in the work.


"When you have the facts from your discovery phase, you can quickly cut through the noise and uncertainty of what to do next." Design a plan by:

  • Describing the current scope of the problem,
  • Envisioning the desired change,
  • Identifying the necessary steps to move from the current reality to the transformed reality,
  • Listing the people and resources needed, and
  • Setting an aggressive but realistic timeline with incremental checkpoints.


Once you have a plan, it's time to stop talking and get to work. Start small and measure everything to track progress and adjust as needed. "Don't expect everything you do to give you an equal return. Most of the change you desire will come from only 20% of what you're doing."

"An objective has a set of concrete steps that you're intentionally engaged in and actually trying to attain." -- Bill Gates


"In order to figure out what's really going on and how you can make a positive difference, you have to document the results of your activity and ensure they are contributing to the outcomes you desire." Document:

  • What works and what doesn't,
  • The number of lives changed,
  • The specifics of what changed, and
  • The reasons for the change.


Measurement should always be circular. Once you've assessed your efforts' success and specifics, start again with a bigger and better vision. "Your progress will give you the momentum to go through the cycle again, but this time with bigger goals in mind."

  • Expand on what you've already learned,
  • Verify you're heading in the right direction,
  • Conduct a reality check to determine if different changes are needed,
  • Collaborate with partners to discuss which efforts to multiply and which to eliminate,
  • Go bigger and repeat the process.


This week, consider the following questions:

  • Which stage of the framework are you currently in?
  • What are your current practices of measurement?
  • What steps could you take today to improve your measurement?