The three metric stacks for product management

Trying to work out which metrics you should use to check on product health is always tricky. Too many and you can end up spending your days measuring rather than doing, too few and you don’t have sufficient data to manage from. The trick is to get the right metric spread. Think of it in three stacks:

  1. Lag metrics: the ones that tell you all is good today (such as revenue, profit, sales)

  2. Lead metrics: the ones that tell you tomorrow will be good (such as delivery time, net promoter score, pipeline, forecast)

  3. Validation metrics: the ones that support the major assumptions (such as market size, stage of lifecycle)

For example: if my lead revenue metric was showing $1.5M for the last twelve months, and my lag forecast revenue metric was showing $2.7M for the next twelve months, then good validation metrics would show: a market size capable of delivering the growth and a lifecycle stage showing the market was not in decline i.e. validating the forecast.