Make this final Quarter of 2016 all about 'the metrics that matter'.
The Metrics that Matter should not make you look good or feel good, they should give you solid insights and help you take better, faster decisions. As we all know
Success is the sum total of all the decisions you take.
Better decision taking means there’s more chance that your business will achieve the annual plan AND stay right on-track for that BHAG so it’s worth continuously validating if you have the right metrics…the Metrics that Matter!
There should be a healthy mix in your chosen metrics. A balanced approach is best, mix in Financial, Customer, Process and Employee (Learning and Development) metrics, have some lagging and others leading. What’s the difference between leading and lagging? Imagine charging down an alpine road in your brand new Alfa 4C, coming up there’s a big red triangle with a violent squiggle in it. Do you ignore it or do you slow down? It’s a leading indicator, it’s telling you something about what lies ahead and you ignore it at your own peril! As for the lagging indicator? Well, that’s easy. Imagine driving the same stretch of road looking into your rear view mirror. If you are one of those unfortunate companies where geriatric CFOs still ram those useless financial metrics down everyone’s throat then start asking yourself “what insights do these metrics really give me?” then move forward into the new digital economy where speed, agility and real time data is king.
As for frequency? Daily is best. Weekly great. Quarterly OK for lagging but useless for leading.
The best learning out there is the Lean Start up's Build Measure Learnphilosophy, by applying this framework you can quickly ascertain if the metrics you are using are the right ones, and if not you pivot and adopt another one, and you keep doing so until you know you have the Metrics that Matter.
But how do you really know which metrics get short listed and which you set to aside? A clear understanding of the drivers of your business makes the task of picking the Metrics that Matter all the more fruitful, kick start the process by reviewing the key business drivers from the top row of your One Page Plan. What gets measured gets done right? If you aren’t using a One Page Plan, then you should. No matter how big or small your organization if you can’t simplify your strategy onto One Single Page you are probably doing something wrong….What’s a One Page Plan? Click and download the free template One Page Strategic Plan
Once you decide what needs to be measured to get done, then set aggressive targets and continuously improve your business quarter after bloody quarter. Strategy is a fight to the death, only the agile will survive, taking decisions without solid data is a fast track to extinction.
One last word.
The better the metrics the more discomfort and pain, and the more Ambers and Reds you’ll be seeing during the quarter! Metrics have owners, but do not take it out on the individual when a metric is Red or Amber, don't make it personal! Instead use collective intelligence during your weekly meetings to understand what the metric is telling you. This is how great companies grow, they analysewhat the metrics are telling them to then take better, faster decisions.
One last thought.
What if you got stranded like a modern day Robinson Crusoe and all you get is one incoming tweet a day. What must it say so that you know your company is on-track? One less worry could be the difference between life and death as a castaway!
Think. Plan. Act and Accelerate your Business!