Choosing the Right Metrics for Distributed Teams

There’s a temptation to burden remote workers with a tonne of metrics.

When managers don’t trust their staff to be productive at home, the staff are often closely scrutinised with daily standups, daily roundups, and to-the-minute time tracking.

Office environments have a built-in productivity tracking tool: Visibility. When an office worker is in their cubicle, they are probably working. Of course, Visibility doesn’t work for distributed teams.

Remote workers should have KPIs and targets, but it’s easy to measure the wrong thing, and communicate a message of distrust to your team.

When collaborating with your teams about their goals, here’s one thing to keep in mind:

Choose a time frame that provides stable data.

Daily reporting isn’t very helpful – people have good days and bad days. Metrics belong in sprint retros, not daily checkins.

Don’t measure Total Downloads, or Revenue to Date. These don’t have any time frame. It’s hard to distinguish a good result from a bad one.

Instead, focus on growth over a time frame. Measure Downloads per week, compared to a 3 month average. Measure Lead growth over last month.

Doing this will highlight, not hide, areas that need attention.