As a senior manager, I miss the easy metrics of success that I had when I was a programmer or team lead. Back then all I had to ask myself was whether my project shipped on time and as planned. If so I had succeeded.
Today, when I try to evaluate success across my team, asking if they delivered their projects on time and as planned is not enough. I have to question many other more ambiguous topics:
- What is the satisfaction level among the staff
- What is the attrition rate
- How is the staff keeping up with their skillset
- Is our staff value competitive with the market
- What is our org vision
- How does our org vision support the company goal
- and a long list of many more things
All of these topics or goals have the common aspect of being hard to measure and having a long time span.
The ambiguity, and the long-time horizons (plus the habitual lack of feedback at senior levels), leave me constantly wondering how to measure my effectiveness.
This is where vision comes into play. When I need to find solid ground I refine the vision for my group and try to assess how everything and anything I do ladders up to that vision. If I have crafted a valid vision (and that’s easier to get feedback about), it is easier to evaluate effectiveness.