Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Metrics

Do you measure what you do? Failing to measure what you do firstly means that you have no idea of which direction you are taking and how you are performing. Secondly, it indicates that you also don’t know where you want to go.

 

Metrics allow you to compare results from last week, last year, with your peers and so on. Metrics gives you early indications on what trends are emerging. An early warning allows you to make adjustments, determine how to improve the results way before things become critical. There is nothing wrong with making mistakes but there is if you take too long to correct them.

 

For example, if you maintain a web site or a blog you should be looking at how many visitors you have, how long they stay and so on. Something like Google Analytics is a free tracking tool that provide a huge amount of feedback on what happening on your site. There are also many, many other great tools available that can help analyze web traffic.

 

If you run a business what are you tracking? What are the important metrics that you need to keep track of? Depending on your business things such as income, billed hours, inbound phone calls, etc could be important. The critical thing is that you need to determine what you need to monitor and then start monitoring it. Never be afraid to add and adjust metrics along the way because the more insight you have on your business the better.

 

If you feel that there is just too much to do everyday have you ever sat down and actually recorded what you do each day in detail? It doesn’t have to be exact but I’ll bet that if you sat down and kept a long of where you spend your time over a few days you’d be surprised on how unproductively you spend a lot of it or how much someone else could/should be doing.

 

The first step to understanding something is to measure it. From there you can make better decisions. If you are making decisions with measuring then you are flying by the seat of your pants and we all know that doesn’t last long!