This may not be appropriate for this site, I couldn't tell from the FAQ or a quick search on meta. I am looking for the proper attribution, origin, and correct version of the quote:

That which is measured, improves.

I've seen various versions and attributions to different people.

Some versions of it:

Pearson's Law: "That which is measured improves. That which is measured and reported improves exponentially." - Karl Pearson

"When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates." - Thomas S. Monson

A few sources say it was used often at Sun Microsystems but do not attribute it to anyone.

3 Answers 3


It is possible that these quotes were inspired by Lord Kelvin who is frequently attributed the quote: "If you can not measure it, you can not improve it."

It is not an exact logical match, but it certainly expresses a similar idea regarding the importance of empirical measurement.


The first example of that quote from Thomas S Monson that I could find is directly preceded by the phrase A cardinal principle of industrial management teaches:, so it sounded like he felt it was a truth that was so widely known and accepted that it didn't need a specific citation.


Thomas S. Monson was the original guy for the quote.

  • 5
    Please add appropriate references for your answer.
    – Mohit
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 10:25

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