Social Metrics: Measuring Success

April 28, 2010

As more and more companies start to roll out and participate in social business projects as well as start to make business cases for these projects I think it’s important to take a step back and look at some business fundamentals. As a basic project management tenet, any project must clearly lay out what success looks like and how success will be measured.

In Dr. Stephen Covey 7 Habits language that concept is “begin with the end in mind.” Social business projects are no exception and need to have metrics applied beginning from the concept stage. As a part of the project process a business case should still be required, that discipline will help correctly focus the project and provide justification for project approval.

What kind of metrics are relevant for social business projects? The key metrics vary by type of project but in the aggregate should tie back to the business fundamentals of revenue, margin, cost, quality and innovation to be relevant for the business. In looking at individual project metrics it’s useful to focus the metrics around the four basic social business objectives: customer engagement, employee empowerment, partner enablement and supplier