The clothes that fit at age 5 do not fit quite as well at age 15. This same practicality applies to metrics. What works at the outset of something new might need some tweaking to stay viable as things heat up. Michael Cooper writes about metrics to watch and when at Entrepreneur.
Metrics That Fit
Cooper has found in working with clients that many businesses only track a few metrics, often very traditional metrics, and usually only because these metrics are the ones that everybody else is watching. A herd mentality will not get you very far in business. For starter businesses, Cooper thinks most will benefit from revenue per week or month, leads generated per week or month, profit per customer per week or month, cash on hand, and savings.
Down the line though, if you are suddenly bringing in oodles of customers, you will want to very carefully inspect customer churn even as you celebrate the new additions. If you are bleeding customers at a faster rate than you are gaining them, that is something you need to know, and it is a great example of knowing when to change or add to your metrics. Another sort of metric to consider over time are “virtual metrics,” or soft metrics such as stress. Cooper continues:
In addition to personal stress, I also request that my clients track their personal fulfillment on a scale of one to 10, especially if they run a small business. Why? Fulfillment tracks personal satisfaction and the degree to which clients believe they are living up to their potential. It’s the prime indicator of how much they enjoy their work and the growth and satisfaction it brings to their life.
This same mentality can be introduced to IT. IT leaders can be gauged on how happy they are with the way IT is accomplishing business objectives. Likewise, each time IT scores a big win, this can be taken as an opportunity to reassess your metrics by deciding which metrics will ensure the continued benefits of this new win. Use metrics to let today’s success be tomorrow’s success as well.
You can read the original article here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/245285