What’s the difference between precision and accuracy – and how does this relate to demos?
“Accuracy is how close a given set of measurements are to their true value, while precision is how close the measurements are to each other.” (From Wikipedia)
In other words, being precise is the ability to hit the same area over and over, being accurate is the ability to focus on the specific target. Both are required, however, to be effective!
You could be wonderfully precise, but way off target; similarly, you could be accurate, but your spread could be disastrously large.
In the world of demos, we need to be both precise and accurate! Accuracy maps to understanding and targeting the Specific Capabilities desired by our prospects; precision is the ability to address only those Specific Capabilities and address them effectively.
Sadly, traditional demos can be both inaccurate and imprecise. At worst, they are like shooting at a target while blindfolded – good luck with that! At best, they are precise but inaccurate, for example, when the same overview demo pathway is followed repeatedly.
This analogy also provides an understanding as to why traditional overview demos are so ineffective. It is like having the ability to throw a tightly repeatable pattern of darts at any random surface (walls, floor, furniture, whatever…), while hoping to achieve a high score. The pattern of darts is always the same, but they end up far from the target!