Great article. Highly recommended.
1. Metrics should be derived from external sources whenever possible to avoid the bathwater and self-serving/self-replication problems. When no external standard exists, ask your customer — and everyone has a customer.
2. Measure against your future, not your past.
3. Check back on your decisions. You can’t learn unless you examine the results of past decisions, objectively, I presume, which is very difficult. Be honest.
4. Use numerical metrics when the outcome is numerical and don’t shy from non-numeric metrics
5. Use multiple metrics to measure different aspects of the same goal and to reduce the potential for gaming the system. There is probably a tree-structure of metrics. It’s rarely one thing.
6. Keep your metrics a moving target. They don’t need to be the same every year. Add, subtract, multiply, and divide.