This is not a blog about getting married and the traditions and/or dress code attached to this happening. The known phrase just popped in my mind because it characterises my new little book quite nicely. This turned out to be a more or less spontaneous project that presented itself in-between other activities and I decided to pursue the idea. Now, I am pleased to present to the world If You Can't Measure It - Maybe You Shouldn't.

The main inspiration for this book came shortly after doing a great master class at Nyenrode Business University about measuring safety and the problems connected to this. I thought it might be beneficial for the greater safety community to make some of the things discussed there available to a wider audience. Also, some readers’s feedback on Safety Myth 101 was that they would have liked a book about just one subject, instead of a wide spectrum. And so it happened, resulting in something old, new, borrowed and blue.

  • Old: the original core of the book is the Measuring, Goals and Indicators chapter from Safety Myth 101 along with some articles that were published elsewhere - mostly in updated, reworked and enhanced versions.
  • New: this basis I supplemented by a series of completely new chapters that provide a framework to work with, some new cases and examples and a chapter with suggestions for different, possibly better, approaches.
  • Borrowed: standing on the shoulder of giants, I use and reference relevant material. The chapters in themselves are compact and accessible, while endnotes provide details and references for those who want to dig in properly. There is also a chapter with recommended literature.
  • Blue: through a twist of randomness the book’s cover became blue instead of any other colour.

And, as said, while Safety Myth 101 covered a wide spectrum of subjects, world If You Can't Measure It - Maybe You Shouldn't concentrates on just one topic, even if it is a topic that is extremely wide in itself. The title is obviously a play on the established management ‘wisdom’ that you need to measure things in order to manage them. The book discusses pros and cons of this belief (or should I just say, myth?) and many other related subjects. I hope it will contribute in a more critical, and useful approach to measuring safety and using numbers and statistics.

Enjoy. And feel free to provide feedback!