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Avoiding the Pitfalls of Vanity Metrics

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The way companies measure team performance is broken and this needs to change. Vanity metrics, timelines and burn-down charts only lead to wasted efforts and stress.
In this talk, Janna shows you how to disrupt yourself, refocus, and break down the silos that may be leading you to build the next Blockbuster instead of the next Netflix.

Published in: Business

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Vanity Metrics

  1. 1. Avoiding the Pitfalls of Vanity Metrics @simplybastow
  2. 2. Vanity metrics Numbers or stats that look good on paper, but don’t really mean anything important.
  3. 3. Hello! I’m Janna Bastow You can talk to me about product or say hi at @simplybastow Get the slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  4. 4. (really big product management community)
  5. 5. (really nice product management tool)
  6. 6. JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC Designed to fail (and not in the good way) Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  7. 7. Time Thingstodo Designed to fail (and not in the good way) Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  8. 8. Time Feature A Thingstodo Designed to fail (and not in the good way) Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  9. 9. Feature A Thingstodo Time Feature B Designed to fail (and not in the good way) Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  10. 10. Feature A Thingstodo Feature B Time Feature C Designed to fail (and not in the good way) Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  11. 11. Feature A Thingstodo Feature B Time Feature C Designed to fail (and not in the good way) Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  12. 12. Thingstodo Time Due dates & duration ALL THE THINGS! Designed to fail (and not in the good way) Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  13. 13. Thingstodo Time ALL THE ASSUMPTIONS! Full of assumptions Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  14. 14. You assume you know how much work and how long each feature is going to take. Assumption #1 Time Feature A Feature B Feature C Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  15. 15. You assume that nothing else is going to disrupt your timeline. Assumption #2 Time Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  16. 16. You assume that each feature will work as soon as it is launched. Assumption #3 ✔ ✔ ✔ Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  17. 17. You assume that each of these features actually deserves to exist! Assumption #4 ✔ ✔ ✔ Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  18. 18. The grand assumption: Nothing’s going to change.
  19. 19. Made up release dates Development death marches Mismanaged expectations Missed market opportunities Building the wrong thing Sad team What could possibly go wrong? Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  20. 20. What kind of organisation are you? Nimble and lean Slow and risk-averse Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  21. 21. What kind of organisation are you? Discovery led Capitalizing on market Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  22. 22. What kind of organisation are you? Experimentation- driven Ruled by vanity metrics Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  23. 23. So what’s going on in these companies?
  24. 24. Shareholder value
  25. 25. Just keep growing... Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  26. 26. Predictability is King
  27. 27. Best route to predictability = Small manageable chunks
  28. 28. Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  29. 29. Counterintuitive Business Decisions Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  30. 30. Profit Center vs Cost Center Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  31. 31. Vanity metrics per division
  32. 32. Mis-incentivised Product development / R&D
  33. 33. OUTCOME output Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  34. 34. JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  35. 35. No room for discovery
  36. 36. Mis-incentivised Sales / Marketing
  37. 37. Shady/lazy acquisition tactics
  38. 38. Have a North Star Metric
  39. 39. Less is more
  40. 40. Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  41. 41. It’s a trap! Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  42. 42. Product Life Cycle You are here Introduction DeclineMaturityGrowth Salesvolume/Usage Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  43. 43. Large corporations struggle to grow Walmart <1% Ford <0% Coca Cola <0% Dow Chemical <0% Via Janice Fraser - @clevergirl Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  44. 44. Local maximum True maximum Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  45. 45. Find maximum value Break out of local maxima Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics
  46. 46. Innovation requires taking risks Break out of local maxima
  47. 47. Chart that shows companies from 20 years ago vs today
  48. 48. Via Suzie Prince - @pm_suzie
  49. 49. “Every company that ever has or does exist, will one day go bust. It’s just a matter of when.”
  50. 50. Build in experimentation
  51. 51. Be a Netflix in a world of Blockbusters
  52. 52. Further reading on ditching your timeline roadmap: www.bit.ly/growing-up-lean
  53. 53. Ditch vanity metrics
  54. 54. Thank you! I’m Janna Bastow Let’s go for or and talk product to @simplybastow or janna@prodpad.com Slides: bit.ly/vanity-metrics

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