THE BELL-MASON DIAGNOSTIC
When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it: but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind: it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science.
-William Thompson, Lord Kelvin 1882-1907) Popular Lectures and Addresses, 1891-94
Everything should be as simple as possible, but no simpler.
The Bell-Mason Diagnostic and Prescriptive Method is a rule-based tool that is applied manually to characterize and plot the status of a high-information-technology venture at each stage of its growth. The start-up is compared to the diagnostic's definition of an "ideal" company by testing it against a set of rules, which are applied by answering a series of questions for each of twelve evaluation dimensions. The answers are tallied and plotted on a relational graph, which is then compared to the ideal for that stage of development. The graph highlights the firms potential deficiencies and pinpoints areas that are in or out of balance.