<aside> 🗣 These days, more than ever, “stretched thin” feels like an understatement. When you’re operating a team within a large organization, demands on your time can pile up quickly.

As soon as the new outbound sales team is humming, you move on to customer support, but then, somehow almost immediately, the outbound team has gotten lost without you. Then you tackle the product roadmap with your product manager, only to discover that the product team is ignoring bug reports from the customer support team. The reality is, you can spend 80 hours a week trying to fix these things, but you’ll never spin the plates fast enough. And people will keep throwing more plates at you! That’s just the law of plates.

Is there a solution that can bring your business, and you, some sorely missing sanity? Well, yes. (That’s why I’m writing this.) The solution is a feedback loop. By implementing a solid framework of building, measuring, and learning, you can design a system that spins the plates for you, while you focus on more pressing things. As your business grows, feedback loops ensure that you can keep up and keep (at least a bit more of) your sanity.


Live Less Like This.


And More Like This.


The Build-Measure-Learn framework was popularized by The Lean Startup, and is frequently used in product development and innovation work to encourage adjustments based on feedback and incremental steps taken towards a goal.

It’s pretty simple, at least in concept. You build a thing. You measure that thing’s performance or cost, or impact. You figure out what you’ve learned from the process. Then, you apply that insight to the next thing you build. That’s it. Not only does this approach make teams more efficient, it ensures that everyone on the team is locked into a learning and growth mindset.


The build-measure-learn framework has a wide variety of applications. I often apply it to management. In a healthy business, every team is doing some form of building, measuring, and learning. For example, at Part and Sum, each of our strategists partners with clients from multiple accounts. On each account, the lead strategist has developed build-measure-learn feedback loops. They define a marketing idea or hypothesis, experiment with a marketing tactic, and measure the results to see if the idea had legs. Clients, as collaborators, get to participate in this process and benefit from it, too.

Internally, our strategists have designed another loop. They share ideas on how to succeed with similar accounts, stay updated on each other’s work via account reviews and show-and-tell sessions, and get together for group brainstorms.

This is where the sanity comes in. If you stop thinking that you’re responsible for the success of the entire business (and everyone on your team), and start thinking that you’re simply responsible for putting clear feedback loops in place, life suddenly becomes less overwhelming. What’s more, your job description comes into clearer focus.

Here’s how I incorporate build-measure-learn processes in my approach as a people leader: it’s all about empowering, informing, and celebrating.


<aside> 1️⃣ Empower - Give your teams the confidence and tools they need to make things happen.

<aside> 2️⃣ Inform - Ensure everyone has the context to keep them focused on what really matters.

<aside> 3️⃣ Celebrate - Take time to acknowledge and celebrate wins of all types and sizes.

Got an idea for the Part and Sum OS or want to chat? Contact us at [email protected]

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