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Ten Characteristics of a Good Metric

We have all heard the old adage; you cannot manage what you do not measure. That is great advice, however what exactly do we mean by “measure.” It is a vague word used to define “something” we are supposed to measure in order to improve productivity. What is that something? That something is a viable metric that can be measured, reported, quantified, explained and improved upon. With that in mind we will define the 10 rudimentary characteristics which make up good measurements.

Ten Characteristics of good Measurements:
It must be quantitative in relation to an objective value. The measurement must be easily understood by conveying what is being measured and by what standards. The measurement must recognize appropriate and productive behaviors. This metric is published in relation to productive behavior while reducing short-cuts, hacks or other system work a round to improve individual productivity scores. It needs to be evident. The effects of the metric are easily apparent to all parties involved. Those who are involved in processing the metrics can easily define what it is they are trying to measure. Comprises both inputs and outputs. This metric is an integration of all components of the specific process which is being measured. Determine if a metric is relevant. Focus on key metrics which are indicators of real value to help you manage your operation. Make sure the measurement covers multiple dimensions of your operation. Ensure that the metric is balanced among utilization, productivity, and performance. Additionally, this measurement needs to display the correct tradeoffs. The measurement procedures must be economically sound. Make sure the costs of analysis and retrieval are less than the profit gained from productivity. The measurement must me clearly defined and mutually agreed upon. All key elements, both internal and external, must agree to that any particular metric being measured is viable to the operation. The measure must emphasize trust while validating the usage among the different groups involved.

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