In this lesson, we'll review how to determine your Impacted Metric.
Metrics & Measurement
Next, you need to determine how to measure your improvement, progress and project success. How will the impact be measured? You'll need to establish a baseline from which to measure improvement and to determine if or when you've met your objective.
As you implement change, you will remeasure your Impacted Metric to ensure an improvement was made.
Your metric(s) will almost-always fall into one of three categories: cost, quality or speed.
Here are some common examples of each:
Cost: often our goals are to save money, so we'll compare the cost to perform a project before and after an improvement. The Impacted Metric is dollars saved.
In the same way, you can measure revenue before and after an improvement. Or if you want to increase money spent on proactive maintenance, so you can measure proactive vs reactive costs.
Quality: most commonly the number of defects or errors is used to measure quality.
If you are just getting started improving processes and don't even have processes documented, the goal of your project may be to start documenting what's happening today. After processes are documented, then they can be improved and standardized.
Quality can also mean improving customer service or employee engagement. These are typically measured through routine surveys.
Speed: If your process has delays, you'll want to measure cycle time. Simply track how many hours, days or weeks the process takes today, then measure the same time after you've made an improvement.
It you want to measure time savings for employees, measure this in "man-hours" or "people-hours". This is the total number of hours it takes to complete a process. You take the time for each task and multiply it by how many people perform that task.
- 2 hour x 1 person = 1 person-hour
- 2 hours x 2 people = 2 people-hours
- 3 hours x 3 people = 9 people-hours
Now, determine which metric, or set of metrics, is the best way to measure success, or impact, of your project.
Don't have much data about your problem right now? Don't worry. It's critical that you have a baseline from which to measure your progress, but the baseline does not have to be established now. As you progress into the problem-solving stage, you'll collect data and analyze the problem. You can come back and update your project charter and metrics as you gather more information.
You may need to establish a data collection strategy as part of your action plan. This may include setting up a way to collect data and measure your process - either for a short-duration or permanently.
Need help setting up a data collection strategy? It’s a good time to post in the community to get help!
Identify the Impacted Metric that will be used to measure your improvement. Update your project charter.