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21 September 2011

Measuring what analysts do

Let me start by saying this: You can't manage by metrics.

But metrics are important tools that help you understand how you are performing today.  Measuring things can help you understand how you are performing against past performance, against expectations or competitors.  They can help you find defects and bottlenecks.  They can also help you understand the system you are operating in better.

And you should measure different things at different times.  My philosophy behind measurements is that you are collecting data so you can perform experiments to test improvement ideas.  Once an idea has been developed and tested, it is time to change the measures.

So, what metrics can we apply to the activities that business analysts do?  What background data can you collect that helps you develop hypotheses and test them?

I have a couple of ideas that might be useful at once time or another.  I'll post them in a few days.  In the meantime, do you have any suggestions?