Last week, I shared some thoughts about team assessments which is a snapshot in time about how the team is doing. But what about metrics you can use on an ongoing basis? At the very least,
You should be measuring your team on three levels:
- Team Performance. Are the team’s products and/or services meeting their key stakeholders’ expectations? (e.g. increase sales, reduce customer complaints, reduce cycle time). Are they achieving their goals?
- Team Process. Is the team becoming more competent at its work? (e.g. making decisions, holding meetings, creating outputs, effecting change). Is the team “healthy” as defined by the team and the organization? Are they using effective and efficient processes to accomplish the work?
- Individual Growth. Are the individual team members contributing, learning, and growing together as they are serving on the team? Do they enjoy working together?
For each of these three areas, agree on the team’s goals and a vital few measures to track progress. These measures must be easily quantified (numbers of or percentage of) and can be:
- Objective (e.g. financial, cycle time).
- Subjective (e.g. behavioral or observable).
Once the team agrees on what it will measure, agree on who is going to measure, how they will measure, and how often they will measure it. Don’t forget to use technology to your advantage!
Set up an easy way to communicate progress such as a trend chart. The horizontal or x-axis is time (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly) and the vertical or y-axis is the unit of measure (performance, process or growth).
On the trend chart, plot four points:
- Establish a baseline (where we are now).
- The goal (where we want to be).
- Whether the measure should be increasing or decreasing (I like to use a thumb up or down).
- The “benchmark” or how the best-in-class performs, if known.
Keep these charts visible for all team members to see. Review your goals and metrics often. What seemed reasonable yesterday may not resonate in today’s changing marketplace.
The best team metrics support the overall organizational mission and vision. They reflect the team’s added value. Key stakeholders and team members are involved in the process. The team has control over what is measured and how it is measured. The metrics are viewed as a vehicle for continuous improvement.