8 years, 9 months ago

EA Heuristic #6: Examine if the metrics are frequent and granular enough to be actionable

Link: http://workitsmart.blogspot.com/2012/05/ea-heuristic-6-examine-if-metrics-are.html

Hilarious picture of star war soldiers watching their weight on the weighing scale.
Metrics guide our actions
(photo credit: stefan)
(this article is part of the series “12 Heuristics for Enterprise Architecting“)

How can an organization recognize progress without appropriate metrics?  Metrics are helpful in assessing if the organization is doing well or not, and if not, what areas can be improved.  As such, it is useful to have at least one metric for each strategic objective.  However, metrics can be too infrequent or too high level to be useful.

Granular enough?

Metrics that encompass several areas might leave one guessing which is the problematic area.  In our exercise, some of the metrics are international rankings, which is a single number.  Even though the ranking methodologies do describe areas assessed to create the ranking, we wonder if the rankings as metrics are granular enough to be actionable. 

Frequent enough?

Once an area of improvement has been identified, metrics give feedback on the effectiveness of the corrective actions. However, if the feedback is given only once in a long period of time, it will lengthen the time needed by the entire improvement effort. In our exercise, some metrics were measured annually, so we questioned if they should be measured more frequently to allow for quick learning and refinements.