Why Metrics Are Useful
Why metrics are useful
Metrics are extremely useful, as these measurements can be used in every stage of the management process. During the planning phase of a project, metrics can be used to plan the allocation of resources, budgets, schedules and cost estimations. Further, metrics can be used to discover information about the status and quality of projects. They can also identify specific areas that require improvement. However, in order to be useful, metrics must have the following three characteristics:
1. Functional: The metrics must measure exactly what numbers they are supposed to measure
2. Cost-effective: The metrics must deliver more value than the cost of measuring and analyzing the metric information
3. Consistent: The metrics must be reliable throughout various company operations
Of course, the metrics that your organization chooses to use would depend on the particular project that you are working on and what exactly you are trying to do. Also, before you choose the project metrics, you must also know your project objectives.
After you are certain of your objective, you will know what particular metrics you need to use. After all, the metrics that are required to measure the progress of a project are different than the metrics that are required to solve a crisis. At this time, it is also important to figure out exactly what question you need answered.
Above all though, your organization should not choose a particular metric based on the fact that a metric is used often. Why? One size does not fit all, and the fact that a particular metric is utilized does not mean that that metric will be a helpful measure for your project. Thus, by asking the proper questions at this stage, you will choose the metrics that will help you find the answers that you seek. After this step, you must be able to collect, measure and interpret this data in an effective manner.
Overall, if project metrics are developed and implemented in the proper manner, the use of project metrics can only help an organization's bottom line, both now and in years to come.
Serhiy Kharytonov is the Executive VP of Consulting Services at SoftServe. Serhiy has been with SoftServe since 2000, previously in the positions of VP of Technology and VP of R&D Services. Serhiy holds a Master's degree in Computer Science from the National Polytechnic University, Lviv, Ukraine, and is currently finishing his PhD. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.