Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Value of Setting Benchmarks

by Ken Houghton

Much has been made of "benchmarks" over the past years. First, George W. Bush said he couldn't abide by them. However, in his speech Wednesday, he emphasized that The Difference This Time is that there are clear benchmarks.

Someone should tell his Secretary of Defense:
Gates said it will be easy to tell if Iraqis live up to their end of the bargain, prompting members of the committee to point out that the Iraqi government sent only two of six promised battalions for an operation in Baghdad last summer.

Gates and Pace said that they think they have assurances from the Iraqi government, but that there is no specific deadline for success or clear benchmarks for progress. [emphasis mine]

There are certainly problems with benchmarks, and I've done enough Project Management to know that people don't necessarilyoften hold to them.

But the other thing that is clear is that those who are not even willing to set a Benchmark, really don't have a clue of how they are going to accomplish the task.

Great news for the 21,500 members of the "surge."
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