Using metrics

Metrics provide a method to visualize progress towards achieving the objective.  Many kinds of metrics exist, such as revenue, customer satisfaction, and unemployment rate.  However, metrics that are not used in making decisions do not add so much value to the activities measured.  For example, if the customer satisfaction metric is not used in meetings to secure resources against other activities improving different metrics, then it serves only as a status indicator.  On the other hand, if only some metrics are used, other operation parameters can be effectively deprioritized.  If a metric is not used to guide decisions, then the progress on the target represented by the metric may be compromised.

Using metrics effectively includes defining the objective of the activity, prioritizing he metrics used in advance, and using the metrics in making decisions.