Measure what you want to improve is the title of the 5th chapter of The Effective Engineer, a book written by Edmond Lau. Generally, the concept of the Effective Engineer is to focus on high leverage activities. High leverage activities are activities that produce the most significant value per time.
In this chapter, Edmond explains that to improve on any aspect of your product or business, you need to find a metric to measure. He cites a couple of methods and strategies used by well know technological companies in the Valley to validate his point. For instance, Google, where he used to be a Software Engineer, has been trying to increase its user happiness for years. User happiness is basically how satisfied a user is after performing a search query on Google. Not until they started measuring a key metric called Long click-through rate were they significantly able to improve user happiness. This is almost evident as Google has the best search quality out there.
Deciding on the metric you want to use to improve on your product is very important as it helps you to focus on the right things. It also helps you to measure how effective and productive you are towards ensuring a particular goal is achieved.
While deciding what metric to use, it’s important you consider the following:
- Choose metrics that maximize impact. Deciding on what metric to measure is as important as the goal itself. Choose metrics that will bring the greatest result.
- Choose metrics that are actionable. Make sure your metrics are actionable and can be properly measured. Don’t choose a metric that will be difficult to measure or implement.
- Choose metrics that are responsive yet robust. Make sure your metric is simple but yet effective and efficient and brings you closer towards your goals.
Also published on Medium.