"What gets measured gets done." — Mason Haire
There are number of variation of this quote attributable to several notable authors. It is often recalled in some discussion of performance metrics or motivation.
Metrics matter! What gets measured gets changed and what gets rewarded gets done. If you don't measure it, you can't change it and if you don't reward change it will not happen.
Choosing the right metrics is critical to success. It is not enough to simply create a numeric measure. The measure should accurately reflect the process. We use metrics to base decisions on and to focus our actions. It is not only important to measure the right indicators, it is important to measure them well.
Although there may never be a single perfect measure, it is certainly possible to create a measure or even multiple measures which reflect the performance of your system. If the metrics are chosen carefully, then, in the process of achieving their metrics, managers and employees will make the right decisions and take the right actions that enable the organization to maximize its performance.
Metrics create an environment of accountability throughout the organization. An organization that closely tracks performance metrics creates a culture where goal achievement is the norm and where there is no room for mediocrity.