Tag Archives: Tracking

Predictive capability

Embrace tracking to avoid unpleasant surprises

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The previous Veracle implored starting a venture not with planning, but tracking.

Tracking has different connotations in different fields. All kinds of tracking have three benefits: predict the future, achieve phenomenal results, and minimise risks.

1. Tracking helps predict the future.

When we track something, we capture a data point.

When we capture data points over time, we observe patterns.

And when we observe patterns over time, we develop predictive capability.

We can use this predictive capability to solve complex problems.

Here is an example from ancient India.

Once upon a time, there lived a mathematician-astronomer – Varāhamihir – in Ujjain. He was a courtier in the emperor’s palace. His correct predictions made him famous as an astrologer.

According to Ancient Indian Hydrology and Brihat-Samhita, Varahamihir used to correctly predict the exact day and prahar (which is a three-hour long subdivision of the day) of the first rains of the season. He could also foretell whether the monsoon would bring enough rains. His forecasts helped the emperor pre-empt and solve water related problems.

Varahamihir had even predicted water on Mars over 1500 years ago. His predictions are still relevant.

Other legendary mathematician-astronomers like Āryabhaṭa and Bhāskarāchārya were also regarded as astrologers because of their precise predictive capabilities.

But how did they do it in the absence of any advanced instruments?

These scholars leveraged tracking as a tool to develop predictive capabilities.

They closely tracked everything about nature, the celestial objects, and their changing positions. They performed mathematical calculations to draw patterns and conclusions. This helped them connect the dots and understand how it impacted human beings.

In short, when we put tracking to good use, we can solve even big problems.

2. Tracking renders phenomenal results.

Tracking is one of the most underused tools available to everyone.

A little but consistent tracking can lead to remarkable results.

For example, Sachin Tendulkar very diligently tracked every single of the 50,000+ balls he faced in international matches. After a while, he could correctly predict what the next ball is going to be. It helped him bat more balls to boundary irrespective of the opponents or the playing conditions. That made him the legend he is.

On a lighter note, he has tracked the game so well over the years, that he is now being applauded even for his accurate predictions, like this one and this.

John D. Rockefeller, considered the wealthiest American of all time, had developed the habit of tracking the market when he was a regular book-keeper. When the panic of 1857 struck, Rockefeller keenly traced the tumultuous events when the people and businesses around him failed. His tracking habit gave him insights about the weakness in the economy. He used these insights to eventually become the legendary investor.

When we track well, we can achieve the stuff of legends.

3. Tracking minimises risks and avoids unpleasant surprises.

Every field, like business, sports, or personal health, has some ‘performance indicators.’

Close tracking of these performance indicators enables minimizing risks and avoiding unpleasant surprises.

For example, here are some informal indicators to track personal health. Clubbing of fingertips indicates low blood-oxygen, crease in ear lobes may allude to a possible heart trouble, irregular speech patterns, uncommon tongue texture and colour, and abnormal eyes may also reveal presence of some underlying health condition.

When we track our health performance indicators, we can prevent nasty health surprises and ensure longevity of quality life.

In general, when we embrace tracking in our lives, we can predict and control how our life pans out over the years and maximise bliss.

Tracking in business?

Likewise, in business, when we track business performance indicators, we can avoid business catastrophes, predict future performance, and maximise business growth.

We, at Veravizion, have established tracking mechanisms to review business performance. It enables us to identify red flags for our clients early-on and help them grow.

A business tracked well is a business worth running.

What tracking mechanisms do you use to manage your business?

Related Posts:

<- Want to succeed in your venture? Don’t start with planning

“Don’t boil the ocean!” Is this advice for you? –>

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Want success in a venture? Don’t start with planning

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If you check out project success rates, you will be in for a rude shock. A significant percentage of project ventures fail. By conservative estimates, 39% of all projects fail at some point. KPMG puts the estimate at 70%. It’s like, every 2 out of 3 projects fail.

Often, the roots of failure lie in the project planning, or the lack thereof.

Why is the failure rate so high despite availability of so many tools, talents, and trainings?

Clearly, something is wrong.

Most projects follow some variant of the renowned PDCA – Plan -> Do -> Check -> Act – cycle for project planning.

And here is the problem: They start with planning.

But, planning is not the first step of good planning. Tracking is that first step.

Let me explain.

A project objective entails us going from our current position to a desired new position.

For example, a weight loss project involves someone going from 110Kgs to 70Kgs; or your business growth project requires you going from $5Mn to $50Mn.

Planning helps devise the path to go from the current position to the desired new position. Now, the path will take you to the desired position only if the planning is correct.

And the planning will be correct only if it is based on facts, and not on assumptions.

This is where tracking comes in.

Tracking is collecting facts by measuring everything about the current position. Tracking helps us build a comprehensive understanding of all past actions and behaviours (in a person, project, or business) that led it to its current position. This deep understanding helps us plan the right actions which we can practically take to reach the desired position.

Planning without tracking leads to incorrect planning, leading to suboptimal results and project failure.

So, for someone wanting to go from 110kgs to 70kgs, tracking the person’s behaviour helps understand their current position of 110kgs – the person’s body type, eating habits, working schedules, sleeping patterns, propensity to exercise (or not), belief in discipline, and in general the lifestyle.

[Since gym-instructors rarely track all this BEFORE starting the gym routines, it seldom* works.]

Likewise, for a business aiming to grow revenues from $5Mn to $50Mn, tracking the business helps understand its current position of $5Mn – who the customers are, what they buy, why they buy, when they buy, their buying habits, and pretty much everything about the business.

That’s why, tracking must be the first step of any project venture, before any planning.

The initial tracking provides factual inputs to devise the proper plan – the right path – to reach the desired position.

Once a venture starts tracking everything required to prepare the plan, the plan will be real, and executable. It will solve both the planning and execution problems.

Here is one case study.

One of my friends had migraine for many years. It was extremely severe – high frequency, high intensity kinds. In his words, “it would be as if someone is pounding Thor’s Mjölnir continuously on one side of my head, for hours, without break.”

He tried a lot of things, without any substantial results.

I suggested him the above approach. He effort- and time-tracked his entire days – EVERYTHING – for many weeks. Afterwards, we analysed the data. We gathered significant insights to plan the right actions to get rid of his migraine. He is now a relieved person.

In sum, if you want to succeed in your venture, don’t start with planning. Start with tracking instead.

*  More than 80% people who have gym membership do not use the gym because it doesn’t seem to benefit them. Only about 18% of members actually went to the gym consistently.

Related posts:

<– Fields Medal, Open Problem, and Business Decisions

Embrace tracking to avoid unpleasant surprises ->

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