Metrics matter to every organization, and they provide a roadmap for all employees (or volunteers) to understand what is important, how the organization is doing against its collective goals, and how individuals are doing against theirs. Bringing metrics “to life” makes managing to them easier, more fun, and more effective. There are a number of ways to bring them “to life,” and it is dependent upon organizational leadership to make them do so in a way that best fits your organization and its culture.
As a software company, we drive our product development efforts using the agile scrum methodology, with two week sprints as our interval. The development team meets each morning for 15 minutes (maximum) to discuss what got done the day before, what “blockers” (obstacles) each developer has standing in their way, and what they are going to work on today. At the end of the two week sprint, the team reviews what got done, and then plans the next sprint. We have applied this same two week interval to the whole company and use it as an opportunity to bring the whole team together every other Friday afternoon (Thursdays in the summer since we have summer hours) to review what was accomplished the prior two weeks. Attendance is voluntary, but we have excellent participation for two reasons. First, the meeting stays pretty short and each speaker gets to the point quickly in order to keep it moving and lively. The second reason participation is high is because we serve beer to attendees. Surprisingly, this works.