Mar 10, 2021 | by Budi Tanrim
Reader question: How to measure success?
“Hi Budi, can you share tips on how to measure an impact in a project? I am working on a project and really want to know if it’s successful or not. I saw you shared metrics or outcomes in your portfolio. I will be thankful if you can give me a pointer on how to get them.” — Tim.
Hi Tim, thanks for the question.
First, what is a success in a project?
You work on a project because there is a problem your team wants to solve. Your project is successful when that problem is reduced or eliminated. Metric is just a tool to measure that. Don’t start with metrics because you can set the wrong metrics. To put it in a perspective, you can end up using “Kilometer” to measure how hot the water is.
Don’t start with the metric.
To measure the impact, you have to know the problem you’re solving in the first place. The issue is, many teams don’t even know what problem they’re solving. Without a clear problem, it’s impossible to measure success. But let’s assume you have one.
The step looks like this: Identify problems > Predict desired outcomes > Identify signals if the outcome achieved > Set metrics for monitoring.
Let’s say if we work in the financial apps that allow people to transact cryptocurrency. Our survey found that people stop using the app because they were not sure when to buy Bitcoin. Because for a novice investor, it’s confusing. As a result of this confusion, our business sees a low amount of transactions.
Now we have two problems. User problem and business problem. One: Some users are confused when the best time to buy Bitcoin. Two: Our business has low transactions.
Next, what would be the desired state? Whatever the solution we will make later, what would be an ideal outcome for the user and the business? Maybe we want the users to know the best strategy when to buy Bitcoin. And for our business, we want to see more transactions.
Then, what would be the signal if people actually know when to buy? If our solution works—whatever it is—people will have more confidence in buying. If our solution is to show the video tutorial for the users, how many actually click and watch it? And obviously, the transaction should increase as a result.
If you have clear user problems to solve, the rest would be much clearer.
The user metrics series might be relevant, feel free to check them out.
I hope this resonates. Cheers.
I love hearing questions from the reader. If you have questions. Please click the appropriate button on my website, or if you read this from your inbox, you can reply right away.