Stiff Project Metrics are Dead
No longer are stiff project metrics viable for developing and marketing a disruptive business. While claiming that stiff project metrics are dead is an absolute statement and fiercely debated, metrics are people. People are not stiff or single-minded. People are flexible and diverse.
Even the language we often use in development and marketing is stiff. The language dehumanizes reality. Business is about people. Page views should be thought of as “Hangouts”. Marketing touches can be thought of as interactions with your friends. Deadlines should be thought of as appointments. Nobody likes missing an appointment, but if the timing is not right for both parties then maybe it is best to reschedule.
It is all too easy to think of metrics as stiff numbers. Instead, remember that metrics are the result of value-creating, flexible humans.
Be Flexible Enough to Pivot
Thus, in marketing and developing it is important to be flexible in your project metrics and be able to pivot them. Creating metrics is essential. Progress and development must be judged and teams must be held accountable. The question, however, is accountable to what? Should teams really be held accountable to metrics set even one month before? We are talking about teams trying to develop something that will disrupt the status quo.
Often when developing a disruptive product or service you are constantly changing. The more you learn about what your customer wants the more you are changing. Your metrics must change with you. Because of this, we advocate for flexible project metrics that are adjusted and analyzed at least once a month or with every pivot.
Reassess, Reassess, Reassess
As you pivot new metrics are established. While we are still new in the field, we believe in the power of flexibility. Everyday you learn more about what your consumer wants. If your product or service mix does not adjust you are failing. More importantly, if your mix is not being reassessed and judged according to new metrics you will be like a traveller in a foreign country without a map.
Instead, use a flexible metric system as your map and constantly reassess yourself according to your current mix. If your approach is failing a pivot may be in order. Pivoting is different from failing. In fact, a pivot based off a flexible project metrics could be your first step towards success.