As a Chief Technology Officer (CTO), your role is critical to your organization’s success, and the metrics you monitor can make or break your team’s effectiveness. While it may be tempting to focus solely on technical metrics like uptime and code quality, a Business-First CTO understands the importance of balancing technical performance with broader business goals. In this blog post, we’ll explore the metrics a CTO should be monitoring to drive business success.
At its core, a CTO’s responsibility is to ensure the organization can produce new features and solve problems efficiently. To achieve this, you must monitor your team’s velocity, which measures how quickly your organization can produce new features or solve issues. You should also keep track of the frequency and severity of bugs, which can impact your team’s productivity and your users’ satisfaction. Finally, you must monitor the cost of running the organization and delivering services to ensure you’re operating within budget constraints.
It’s essential to find the right balance between these metrics, depending on your organization’s needs. For example, a consumer social media product will have different constraints than an enterprise medical product. A weekend warrior startup will have an entirely different balance than an established company. As a CTO, your role is to find the appropriate balance at the right time.
Managing technology is a human endeavor, and a product is only as good as the people and process that produces it. As a CTO, you must focus on your team’s well-being and motivation, which can have a significant impact on your organization’s productivity and success.
Managing people is not an exact science, and the metrics you use to measure employee engagement and motivation may be softer than other technical metrics. However, regular check-ins with your team can help you understand how they’re feeling and identify areas where they need support.
You should also measure the impact of training and development programs on your team’s performance. For example, you can monitor the number of certifications obtained by your team members, their performance in training sessions, and the impact of training on their productivity and output.
As a CTO, you’re often faced with the decision to build or buy external technologies. When selecting an external technology to bring into your product, you must understand its cost, impact, and time savings.
One way to measure the impact of external technologies is through defects. You can monitor how often defects occur, what parts of your product are most problematic, and which team members spend the most time resolving issues related to the technology. If most of your team’s time and energy are spent fighting with an outside piece of software, it may be time to bring it in-house.
On the other hand, if you have an internal technology that’s causing significant problems, it may be time to consider outsourcing that technology. In either case, it’s essential to remember that the people most plagued by defects are often the most motivated to resolve them.
As a Business-First CTO, you must keep your eye on broader business metrics to ensure your team’s technical efforts are aligned with the organization’s goals. These metrics may include:
By monitoring these metrics, you can ensure your team’s technical efforts are driving business growth and creating value for your customers.
There’s no limit to the number of things that can be measured, so the most important task you can do upfront is to define measurable goals that will help you keep an eye on progress and guide you towards success.
For example, you could set goals like:
By setting goals that can be quantified, you can track your progress and have a clear understanding of what success looks like.
Keep in mind that goals should be flexible and subject to change as the business and technology evolve. Continually reviewing and updating goals is an important part of the process.
In summary, as a CTO, you need to pay attention to a wide range of metrics to make sure that your technology organization is meeting business goals and delivering value to customers.
Metrics related to technology produced, people, and technology consumed can provide insights into areas where improvements can be made.
By monitoring these metrics and setting measurable goals, you can track progress and ensure that your organization is on the right track.
However, keep in mind that metrics should never be viewed in isolation. They are one piece of the puzzle and must be considered alongside other factors like customer feedback, business strategy, and market trends.
By taking a holistic approach to metrics and constantly reviewing and updating goals, you can build a successful and sustainable technology organization that meets the needs of your customers and your business.