Great Input results in Great Output.
While GIGO sounds like a Greek verb or an Italian food, it’s typically used as an abbreviation for Garbage In, Garbage Out. This familiar computer axiom means that if invalid, inaccurate or inappropriate data is entered into a system, the resulting output will be just like the input …. invalid. Originally applied to computer software, GIGO holds true for all systems, including Activity Based Management (ABM) decision-making systems.
Most ABM/ABC implementers pay little or no attention to input. Activity analysis interviews tend to focus on activities, output measures (drivers), classifications (value) and cost. One of the most valuable attributes of the activity is frequently overlooked … its input. For example, a common activity is Issue Purchase Order. Number of P.O.’s or Number of Lines are common output measures for this value-added activity. What is its input?
An activity will typically have more than one input. The inputs for Issue Purchase Order commonly include requisitions, inventory reports, cycle counts, policies, procedures, and bills of material. Because inputs come before output, they often define and direct an activity’s performance.
Input influences activity performance in five distinct ways:
“You are what you eat.” “Happy thoughts lead to happy lives.” These sayings are simply two out of thousands that emphasize the importance of selecting good input. If you’re not pleased with your personal or professional results, look at your input. Inputs influence performance. Engineers and programmers, understanding the importance of GIGO-theory, do their dead-level best to keep “garbage” out of software programs. If garbage creeps in, they know garbage will printout. Don’t overlook the importance of gathering and evaluating input. Great input will result in greater output!