Metrics are critical when managing the performance of a team or process. Without measurements in place, it can be difficult or impossible to obtain an objective view of current performance. Similarly, without a baseline set of metrics, continuous improvement initiatives may be less effective as you are likely unable to tell if you are actually improving when changes are implemented. 

When looking to improve processes, it is very important to define metrics that actually measure what you are trying to improve. There is no “one size fits all” approach to determining what metrics make sense for your organization. Metrics should be tailored to the situation to provide a more accurate picture of the performance of the team or process.

At netlogx, we like to use Six Sigma tools and techniques to evaluate what metrics are key to oversight of a given process. Two concepts which are very helpful in defining metrics are: 

  1. Voice of the Customer 
  2. Critical-To-Quality

Voice of the Customer

Voice of the Customer is a term used to describe the process of finding and then obtaining a customer’s requirements. Once you have worked with your customer or end user to understand what is important to them, you can then analyze to determine what is critical to quality.


Critical-to-quality items are the characteristics that are most important to a customer in order to provide best-in-class service or quality. A critical-to-quality tree can be used to decompose from the customer need to the key drivers and finally measurable requirements. You can then define metrics around these requirements to evaluate how well you are performing. 

Once you have defined metrics, continue to revisit them over time to evaluate whether or not the measurements are still providing an accurate view of the process. In some cases, as customer needs shift over time, you may identify new or updated requirements. As these are identified, new metrics should be defined to ensure that you maintain an up-to-date view.