Are your metrics right for a remote workforce?

by Jeremy

So much of what we do at work has to be measured. There is a sense that if something cannot be measured, does it even really exist? Indeed, if a project or function can not demonstrate how it is being measured in a clear, understandable manner, its ability to secure approval or signoff is dramatically reduced.

Metrics, key performance indicators, objectives, and key results (OKRs), and measuring progress all link back to a need within organizations to ultimately quantify the return on investment.  When we all worked in one place, most metrics were tied to outputs – achieve sales targets, ship code, maintain a positive net promoter score. 

Changing environments demand new metrics

But how have those ways of measurement changed in the last year? Do they take into account the challenges and opportunities that come with remote working? As Dan Montgomery, the founder and managing director of Agile Strategies, said, the current situation “is an excellent opportunity to get better at managing people around outcomes rather than tasks or, worse yet, punching a virtual clock to prove they’re working.

Many employees working from home genuinely have significant challenges, including bored kids, sick relatives, and an unending stream of bad news. They need the flexibility right now and will appreciate your trust in them. Having that flexibility is particularly critical in uncertain times. “Now more than ever, the goals that we’re setting are so critical for us to be able to navigate what happens next,” Ryan Panchadsaram, co-founder and head coach of What Matters, said.

Defining a clear vision

But how do we set those goals? One mistake many businesses make is not aligning targets and objectives throughout the industry. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a start-up, a scale-up, or an established sector leader. Without a goal at the company level, you’re lost. Chris Newton, VP of Engineering at Immersive Labs, calls this “Vision – vision needs to have an evident, inspiring, well-understood company vision that guides every department in the business.

Not just product and tech, but you’re talking about the whole wider business. There has to be a direction, a clear direction for the company. Chris was speaking as part of a recent Indorse Engineering Leaders panel discussion. Once you have that big vision, the VisionUnderpinning will be the product and tech side of things. You will have your product vision: “what are we trying to achieve for our customers through the product”. Then you have the engineering vision that underpins the product vision. It is c, and elementary to the product vision. It supports it—the engineering vision & strategy lines up to deliver the best outcomes for customers through the product vision.

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