When you’re running a digital agency, the things people look at are things like:

  • Project profitability
  • Project revenue
  • The number of deadlines you made
  • The number of deadlines you missed

Lag measures are things you can no longer impact when you’re measureing them.

These are things that are all lag measures. That means that you’re looking at them after the fact. By the time the project is done and you’re looking at project profitability, there’s nothing you can really do about that profitability. It’s done.

Lead measures for project managers in digital agencies

So something you should measure your project managers on are things like the number of phone calls, preemptive phone calls, they make ahead of scrum meetings to get their stakeholders ready for those scrum meetings.

The impact of client readiness

Because a lot of client stakeholders are not really ready for those meetings. They don’t know what’s going into them, they don’t know things are going to go, they don’t know what’s expected, they don’t have their stuff together. But if you call them ahead of time, then they’re going to be ready for that meeting. That’s going to progress that project along substantially faster. So that’s something you can measure that the project managers can also measure for themselves that helps the project move along and influences and is predictive of the profitability on the project.

Developer lead measures

For developers, something similar that works really, really well, is how accurate their estimates are. So for example, if you have your developers tracking the estimates they give you on specific tasks or tickets or issues or whatever it may be, and then what the variance was from that amount. Then you can track them and have them kind of compete or at least show a scoreboard based on how close they got to their initial estimates. That will help bring them down. Help them get engaged in coming closer and closer and closer to that number that they actually estimated.

Work hours, not duration!

Now I want to make sure to say this, this is work hours estimates, not duration. Because the duration, the amount of time it actually took to get the thing done, not the number of hours it took but let’s say it was five hours of work over one week of time, they only worked five hours. Let’s say they estimated four hours, they worked five hours, it’s not that bad all together. But it’s up to the client a lot of times what that duration is. It’s up to other people what that duration is. So the only thing they can estimate is the actual work hours. So keep them accountable to those work hours, not to the duration.

So all right, that’s it. Those were two lead measures you can measure for your team for developers and by the way, this can also apply to designers, digital marketers, content developers, whatever, anybody that’s doing production work. Of course the other one was for project managers. So I hope this was helpful.