Metrics: How to Improve Key Business Results

Book description

Metrics are a hot topic. Executive leadership, boards of directors, management, and customers are all asking for data-based decisions. As a result, many managers, professionals, and change agents are asked to develop metrics, but have no clear idea of how to produce meaningful ones. Wouldn't it be great to have a simple explanation of how to collect, analyze, report, and use measurements to improve your organization?

Metrics: How to Improve Key Business Results provides that explanation and the tools you'll need to make your organization more effective. Not only does the book explain the "why" of metrics, but it walks you through a step-by-step process for creating a report card that provides a clear picture of organizational health and how well you satisfy customer needs.

Metrics will help you to measure the right things, the right way—the first time. No wasted effort, no chasing data. The report card provides a simple tool for viewing the health of your organization, from the outside in. You will learn how to measure the key components of the report card and thereby improve real measures of business success, like repeat customers, customer loyalty, and word-of-mouth advertising. This book:

  • Provides a step-by-step guide for building an organizational effectiveness report card

  • Takes you from identifying key services and products and using metrics, to determining business strategy

  • Provides examples of how to identify, collect, analyze, and report metrics that will be immediately useful for improving all aspects of the enterprise, including IT

What you'll learn

  • Understand the difference between data, measures, information, and metrics

  • Identify root performance questions to ensure you build the right metrics

  • Develop meaningful and accurate metrics using concrete, easy-to-follow instructions

  • Avoid the high risks that come with collecting, analyzing, reporting, and using complex data

  • Formulate practical answers to data-based questions

  • Select and use the proper tools for creating, implementing, and using metrics

  • Learn one of the most powerful methods yet invented for improving organizational results

Who this book is for

Metrics: How to Improve Key Business Results was written for senior managers who need to improve key results. Equally, the book is for the department heads, middle managers, analysts, IT professionals, and change agents responsible for collecting, analyzing, and reporting metrics. Finally, it's for those who have to chase data and find meaningful answers to the "interesting" questions executives ponder.

Table of contents

  1. Title
  2. Dedication
  3. Contents
  4. About the Author
  5. About the Technical Reviewer
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. Metrics: The Basics, An Introduction
    1. What
    2. Why
    3. When
    4. Where
    5. Who
    6. How
    7. What You’ll Find Inside
  8. CHAPTER 1: Establishing A Common Language: Data, and Measures, and Information, OH MY!
    1. The Three Little Pigs Go Large
    2. Data
    3. Measures
    4. Information
    5. Metrics
    6. Root Questions
    7. The Data-Metric Paradox
    8. Metric Components
    9. Recap
    10. Bonus Material
  9. CHAPTER 2: Designing Metrics: The How
    1. Getting to the Root Question
    2. Testing the Root Question
    3. Developing a Metric
    4. Identifying the Information, Measures, and Data Needed
    5. Collecting Measures and Data
    6. How to Collect Data
    7. Another Example
    8. Recap
    9. Conclusion
    10. Bonus Material
  10. CHAPTER 3: Planning a Good Metric: Where to Begin
    1. The Metric Development Plan
    2. Documentation: Making the Metric Development Plan More Than a Plan
    3. Recap
    4. Conclusion
  11. CHAPTER 4: Using Metrics as Indicators
    1. Facts Aren’t Always True
    2. Recap
    3. Conclusion
  12. CHAPTER 5: Using the Answer Key: A Shortcut
    1. What Is the Answer Key?
    2. How to Use the Answer Key: Identify Types of Measures
    3. Bonus Material
    4. Recap
    5. Conclusion
  13. CHAPTER 6: Start with Effectiveness
    1. Future Health
    2. Organizational Health
    3. Return vs. Investment
    4. The Customers’ Viewpoint
    5. Removing Fear
    6. Focusing on First Things First
    7. Recap
    8. Conclusion
  14. CHAPTER 7: Triangulation: Essential to Creating Effective Metrics
    1. Triangulation—a Historical Perspective
    2. Triangulation as a Practical Application
    3. Demographics Don't Count
    4. Recap
    5. Conclusion
  15. CHAPTER 8: Expectations: How to View Metrics in a Meaningful Way
    1. Don't Choose Poorly
    2. Expectations
    3. Discovering Expectations
    4. Recap
    5. Conclusion
  16. CHAPTER 9: Creating and Interpreting the Metrics Report Card
    1. Concept
    2. Ground Work
    3. Applying Expectations
    4. Recap
    5. Conclusion
  17. CHAPTER 10: Final Product: The Metrics Report Card
    1. Delivery
    2. Usage
    3. Customer Satisfaction
    4. Weights and Measures
    5. Rolling Up Data into a Grade
    6. Recap
    7. Conclusion
  18. CHAPTER 11: Advanced Metrics
    1. Dipping Your Toes into the Other Quadrants
    2. The Benefits Metrics Provide an Immature Organization
    3. Making Your Processes Repeatable
    4. Measuring Helps to Encourage Using Existing Processes
    5. Metrics in the Other Quadrants
    6. Recap
    7. Conclusion
  19. CHAPTER 12: Creating the Service Catalog: How to Enhance the Report Card
    1. How to Develop a Service Catalog
    2. Bonus Material
    3. Recap
    4. Conclusion
  20. CHAPTER 13: Establishing Standards and Benchmarks
    1. Benchmarks: Best Used to Provide Meaningful Comparisons
    2. Set Benchmarks Responsibly
    3. Standards Allow Comparison to Others
    4. Recap
    5. Conclusion
  21. CHAPTER 14: Respecting the Power of Metrics
    1. Metrics: Indicators or Facts?
    2. Misused Metrics: “Our Customers Hate Us”
    3. Misuse of Metrics: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    4. The Art of the Unintended Consequence
    5. Recap
    6. Conclusion
  22. CHAPTER 15: Avoiding the Research Trap
    1. The Cost of Research
    2. Research in Disguise
    3. Recap
    4. Conclusion
  23. CHAPTER 16: Embracing Your Organization's Uniqueness
    1. Questions Simplified
    2. What If Your Boss Doesn't Agree?
    3. Why Embracing Your Uniqueness Is Healthy
    4. Recap
    5. Conclusion
  24. APPENDIX: Tools and Resources
    1. Tools
    2. Resources
    3. Recap
    4. Conclusion
  25. Index

Product information

  • Title: Metrics: How to Improve Key Business Results
  • Author(s):
  • Release date: December 2011
  • Publisher(s): Apress
  • ISBN: 9781430237266