Like a skyscraper, you need a solid foundation before you can start building upwards. If you’ve ever watched a full timelapse of a skyscraper being built you’ll see they spend months laying the foundations and it appears like the builders make almost no progress. Then suddenly the building appears to shoot out of the ground, adding a new floor every few days. We’re still in the foundation building phase.
Here’s the process I recommend following:
- Get clarity on the goal: Even small misalignment on the goal can cause big issues higher up the pyramid, so it’s super important that everyone is 100% aligned. This is commonly known as your North-Star metric.
- Metrics that track our progress to the goal: Tracking your North-Star metric typically some some challenges because it usually has a slow feedback loop - work we do today might only result in improvements next month. With the goal defined you're able to identify metrics which the team has influence over and which track our progress to the goal.
- Problems appear: With a clear way to evaluate progress and success you finally have a feedback loop! A soon as you start tracking your metrics on a regular basis you'll start to identify team-wide things we want to improve as well as individuals on your team noticing where they need to level up themselves. e.g. “I noticed high stakes phone calls hold me back from achieving my goals. I want to get better at being persuasive on the phone”
- Solutions: With the problems identified, we can prioritise and solve them. We’ll have a solid foundation upon which to build and we’ll be able to make improvements super fast.
One of the things I see new founders struggle with the most is figuring out what their metrics should be. Fortunately it's actually quite easy to get a good first version of those metrics by looking at similar companies. For instance, almost all B2B SaaS companies have the same core metrics.
What comes next?
You want to building systems to keep the main thing the main thing. My measure of success for that is:
- Everyone on the team has a dashboard with their metrics that they check on a daily and weekly basis to drive their actions
- The goals and metrics form a key part of your weekly cadences