As a manager, which metrics are your everyday reality?

When I go online, I love starting my day’s reading with the words of someone who is excited:

“I can tell you–without any reservation–that we’re doing more to listen to and respond to customers–by far–than at any time in our company’s history. Not only are we doing the tried-and-true “market research,” but we’re actively building our culture around the idea of making the experience for the customer (and our partners) better.”

I don’t know him, but the optimism shared in this post by John Porcaro made me feel pretty happy for him, that a 15-year veteran can still be so excited about the initiatives of the company he works for, and enough so that he talks about it on his own time.

And imagine, part of this excitement comes from a decision on what we choose as managers to measure. “Measurement” and “metrics” are normally not our favorite words. Here’s another excerpt from his post:

“A day never goes by that I don’t hear a co-worker talk about the impact of a decision on a customer or partner. More and more, metrics on scorecards reflect issues that are important to customers, rather than numbers that are important to managers. (Someday, metrics that are important to customers will be the only metrics that are important to managers!) We’re even hiring people whose job it is to become part of our customers’ communities. As a marketer, it’s hard to imagine how we managed without such a concerted effort before.”

Truth is, managers have a lot to measure and a wide range of company-imposed or boss-imposed metrics to choose from, and it’s not so simple is it. How wonderful it would be if you only needed to focus on “metrics that are important to customers.”

Logically we know that John is right: ultimately, your business success depends on how happy your paying customer is. However I think what’s cool here, is that John and company at Microsoft equate what is “logically right” to what is the right way to work, and they are updating approaches in a manner that creates a new excitement within the ranks.

So think about it, what can you measure—as a new initiative, or in a new way—that will start to create some energy and excitement for you and those you manage? It’s all about working with intention, and intention is something that it is always your choice to make.

Post Script: Since John Porcaro’s post was essentially about Microsoft listening to their customers, here’s a second story shared by Robert Scoble.


  1. says

    Management as a “second career.” Empathy needed please.

    When I first learned about blogs, one I’d read somewhat regularly was John Porcaro’s. John is a manager in Microsoft’s online marketing communications division. Back in October of 2004 I sent a trackback to his blog, writing As a manager,