5 Steps to Clarifying the Metrics You Actually Care About: Step 5

In this episode, we’re discussing the final step to Discovering the Metrics that Matter: Surfacing the information to the organization. If you’ve been following along in the last four episodes, we’ve broken down the first four steps of clarifying the metrics you actually care about. It starts with step 1, having a clear, specific goal with a timeline. Why start there? Go check out Episode 3 for all the details. 


Next up, Step 2: For each goal, determine how you’ll know it’s done. 

Step 3: What are the leading indicators for those goals? What actions are taken in pursuit of getting it done? 

And Step 4: Determine how you’re going to track those leading indicators. 

Alright, so now you’ve got the data. Great! But what’s the problem with just having the data? Oh, yeah, it gets put in a document somewhere, never gets looked at again, doesn’t get used to inform decisions and then everyone loses motivation for even tracking it and wanders off to do something else. 

The Last Step, Surfacing the Information to the Organization

So Step 5 is to make sure that the organization is regularly using this information. That it is viewed and can be actively used to make decisions. To make that happen, when you build your tracking mechanism, your scorecard, take the additional step to integrate it with something that’s already happening. This is the way to surface this information to the organization regularly, like a regular team meeting, or one on ones or any other regularly occurring mechanism. 

Maybe you’re like us, and you do a weekly review on Fridays. When we create a new scorecard it is integrated into our weekly review. The ensures we are regularly looking at the data and using it to make decisions. This possibility exists for you too. But how do you get there? 

Integrating Scorecards into Existing Mechanisms

I’ve already mentioned a couple of options: existing regular meetings or reports. When a scorecard is created, insert it into an existing mechanism in the organization. I encourage you not to create something new, at least not to start. Please do not add another meeting that is scorecard review. It’s the fastest way to get everyone to hate and never get it done. Instead, look at any gathering or data exchange that already exists and add it to the appropriate agenda or report or weekly review. By integrating this into something existing, the information will get used and the people who are tracking the scorecard are able to then see the information getting used and that provides them encouragement to keep tracking the information. 

Ultimately, you may want to create a dashboard with this information. You still don’t need a fancy system for this, it can be done using just scorecards. Adding visual components makes the data easier to consume, but you do not need to start there. Just start with making sure the scorecard is seen. 

Conditional Color Cells to Visualize and Evolve Data for Better Evaluation

Once it is being regularly viewed, the simplest visualization is to add conditional colored cells. For example, if data for that date hits the measure we want,  then the cell color is green. This enables more easy evaluation of what’s happening. And with regular evaluation, and review, the data can evolve to become more useful. You might find that you want to track different types of information, or that something you were tracking is no longer a useful marker and you want to track something different. This is the payoff of surfacing the information to the organization, but you will not figure this out or iterate as quickly unless the step of integrating the review is taken.

Need help or want a written guide for this? No problem, we’ve got you. Head over to fieryfx.com/5steps to download a worksheet to help you define the metrics that matter to your business and success.

Don’t Miss the Next Episodes

In the next episode we’re switching off of metrics and onto one of my favorite topics: tools! Tools can be the best & worst thing for business optimization, so I’ll be discussing how to maximize the use of the tools you already have (and probably are paying for). 

Worried you’ll miss it? Do your future self a favor and subscribe to Leverage Your Spark on your preferred podcast platform. You can also subscribe & share at leverageyourspark.com.

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