Secondary Metrics

Definition of Secondary Metrics:

Metrics are of critical importance when starting a project to improve a process.

While primary metrics are the direct measurable metrics of the process that produces a product or service, a secondary metric provides additional information that may help in your goal but are not directly tied to the result.

For example, if an accounting company is measuring the number of invoices generated per hour — and considers it their primary metric — employees may work to optimize that metric at the expense of customers. They may introduce errors because they are going too fast. A secondary metric might measure the number of errors of produced invoices.

Secondary metrics ensure that your business is looking at the entire, holistic picture when working to improve a process. Secondary metrics also ensure that the problem is not simply being shifted to someone else’s area to fix.

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