Tracking the wrong metric


Working within the government, chances are you have a luxury that many do not; deep pockets. Although it’s nice to have a 5 year contract for example, it can be frustrating at times. With no real competition and users that are forced to use your products, quality can suffer. Without a doubt this is what has been happening here (my workplace) for the past five years. I’m finally able to start making small changes but want desperately to make the right ones.

I find myself falling back on the “time saved” metric for projects. Revenue isn’t an issue since they already have the contract. Customers are forced to use our products since there is no competition. So time saved seems to be one of the only things I can use. But I don’t feel like that scratches the itch always.

We have no way to track anything beyond what SharePoint out of the box can track. Is there anything else that I can do to show value?


Metrics are a tricky SOB.

There are a few different metrics that you can track, some of which are more concrete and objective, and some of which are softer and subjective. In a situation where you have a captive audience, you’re probably better off tracking some of the more concrete metrics, as the subjective metrics may have less of an impact on your audience than otherwise. Your primary goal is likely going to be making the workflow as quick and easy as possible. Different metrics you might attempt to measure include:

1.) Task success rate
2.) Back button usage
3.) Use of search or navigation
4.) Error Rate

The whole business of choosing specific metrics to track, what analytics you can use to track them, and interpreting those analytics to come up with meaningful metric meanings, is a topic you could (and many people have) write a book about.


Thanks for the reply. I think that the four things you’ve listed will be a great start!