5 steps to build support for metrics

metricsWe have all seen it, someone has an urgent need to implement a set of metrics able to provide the visibility necessary to manage the business. As the manager of the team they are well within their rights to define and implement quickly, but they don’t involve their team so the resistance to change causes adoption to severely lag the intended target.

Implementing metrics can be a bit tricky because there are two dimension of change at play here. First of all, things are different, and most people don’t like different. The second concern is that when it comes to metrics people have experience being bludgeoned by ham-handed managers armed with metrics, so they are concerned about how the data will be used to evaluate them, their teams, and their co-workers.

Here are 5 simple tips that will help you get metrics implemented quickly and with the support of your team:

  1. Generate awareness: Tell the team that you want to start identifying and implementing metrics so that as a team we can continually get better at what we do and have the data to prove it.
  2. Establish improvement process goals: Once the team is aware that metrics are a new direction for the team, enlist a few people to help establish goals.
  3. Establish improvement process metrics: With goals established, work with your team to define when, where, and how to measure.
  4. Establish a macro process: As the manager this is your special role to play. You have to determine a cadence that will work for you to measure the metrics and observe the trending.  If this is each month before the staff meeting with your boss or if it is quarterly when there is sufficient data available, whatever.  Just establish a cadence and a reason for that cadence, then communicate it to your team.
  5. Establish a micro process: Depending on the type of metrics you are collecting, there is likely a need for a micro process that works for dealing with the day to day issues issue that arise.  The micro process is the flip side to the macro process; this one must be defined and owned by the first and second line managers because they need to execute it.

These five steps must be accompanied by a healthy dose of awareness and listening along the way, but it will get to a quick implementation of your metrics program.  If you are thinking “all of this team buy-in will take forever”, although this may be true for you – you’re wrong.  Good does not have to be slow, and a solution that is imposed will be rejected.


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