The feedback all teams received in class last week emphasized the importance of metrics in defining the success of our projects. This is so true. One cannot evaluate what one does not measure! This has been drilled into me time and time again as a part of the class on Enterprise Architecting that I am taking this semester. Yet, what seems so natural and logical to do for corporate entities did not occur to me until it was explicitly pointed out in class.
Some General Guidelines for Selecting Metrics:
Metrics motivate behavior. It is critical to pick the right metrics since people perform based on what they are measured against.
Metrics need to be aligned with the overall goals of the organization
Metrics should not conflict with each other.
One example that comes to mind is the situation in a Customer Service Center - the agent's behavior would be very different based on whether s/he measured based on number of issues resolved in first call or on the total number of calls handled in a day.
I spent some time thinking about what would be useful metrics for the SmartMicroloan project. Here's a preliminary list -
1. Average income of the villagers (should increase)
2. Number of villagers actively employed (should increase)
3. Number of loans taken (should increase)
4. Average interest rate for the loans (should decrease)
We are in the process of collecting some quantitative data for the villagers in Rajugela to establish a baseline for these metrics. In addition to qualitative measures of well-being, these quantitative metrics will define the success of our project in the future. The improtant question for now though is - Are these the right metrics?