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.


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 Feb 4 '13 at 10:25

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