“If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it” — Lord Kevin
Every project has a goal, and they can be “atomic’’ or “complex’’. A simple example to elucidate them can be:
- Atomic goal: Getting a six-pack abs
- Complex goal: Getting fit during summer (and this will vary from person to person)
Goals are measured in metrics, but metrics are not goals. They are defined as a way of measuring progress towards the goal and how influencing metrics can build or break the result. For instance, if a person joins a gym to gain 20lbs of muscle weight in 4 months. This can be called a member’s goal. Metrics are (how much) is his current weight, height, chest, biceps, waist size, and other measurements. To track their goal, they calculate their BMI (Body Mass Index), fat gain to muscle gain ratio, how progressively they added weights to work out, and improvement in training. The end goal is the by-product of the entire process and transformation over time.
This was a reasonably straightforward example with transparent metrics.
But how do we measure the right parameters?
Let us consider another example. If we go to a movie theatre and the seat is broken. We will call the authority, and they may upgrade our seat to a premium seat. Once we reach home, we are likely to rate the theater 4+ stars on Google and other theater review websites. The catch here is, though, we see the theater has a maximum 4+ star rating. How many had the same inconvenience of getting a broken seat and got upgraded? If many… aren’t the ratings deceiving future customers?
For an analyst, it is essential to check if everything is well-aligned. Are the features/services helping to achieve the goal?
Setting up milestones in the path is another approach to trace the project. One will come across the term critical success factor to the project — ‘Key Performance Index’ also referred to as KPIs.
Let us understand the critical difference between Metrics and KPIs. Metrics track the status of a specific business process. KPIs are measurable values that show us how effective we are at achieving business objectives. It can be said, KPIs can be considered as a sub-type of Metrics.