Metrics will keep you sane

Doomsurfing.  When the COVID-19 pandemic began spreading across the world, I was consumed by news of the inexorable downward trajectory in our health and economic wellbeing.  However, being morbid is an unhealthy state of mind. Consequently, as an act of self-preservation, I now solely focus on reviewing these metrics – daily new cases, community spread, reproduction rates and contact tracing – which I consider as sufficient to meet my goals of being informed.

This led me to reflect upon the performance metrics for a business. Metrics are more critical now than ever before. With the dramatic changes to the business landscape, a common query is what metrics should a business focus on? The answer is dependent upon the nature of the business. For example, a travel business would be unlikely to focus on blitz scaling growth metrics at present.  However, the same metrics would be useful for a cybersecurity software firm.

Moreover, creating and tracking metrics is similar to starting a rabbit breeding program.  It can become a prolific, self-perpetuating monster if you don’t have adequate parameters in place.  With metrics, the risk is you end up suffering from analysis paralysis due to metric overload.

I recall working for a large MNC where we were required to report on over 50 performance metrics every week. This was for every single business unit across the globe. Seemingly random metrics were dissected with local management receiving the short end of the stick for “underperforming” numbers. A demoralising exercise. Productivity was badly hampered as the metrics eclipsed the importance of focusing on meaningful strategies causing wild goose chases among management.

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Please do reach out to me if you want to talk about metrics or arent done with doomsurfing 😉 My email: Cornell@qualia8.com and my profile