Cella Consulting partners with Marketing and Creative Operations teams across industries to help them identify and capture opportunities to enhance their business. One common opportunity we see is for Operations to increase their measurement maturity. It is well understood that data is no longer a “nice to have”, it is a must have in order to be a true strategic partner to the enterprise. 

Cella has developed a Measurement Maturity Model which is used to assess a client’s metric strategy, and I encourage you to consider utilizing a maturity model to evaluate your operational metric strategy. A less mature metric strategy results in time spent identifying, collecting and visualizing data. A more mature metric strategy results in time spent analyzing the data.

A maturity model can encourage mindfulness. When it comes to measuring your operation, you want to be extremely thoughtful and think long-term. You do not want to be in a position where you need to overhaul your measures every few years because that will likely result in losing very important historical data that has meaning and can be used for comparisons and baselines.

What is a maturity model?

The concept of maturity models is simple: Identify where you currently are on the maturity scale, consider where you should be and from there, develop a roadmap to get you where you need to be.

Keep in mind when working with maturity models:

  • Moving forward along the scale is a journey that takes planning, resources, effort and very likely an education on the various elements of a metrics strategy.

  • Full maturity or “best in class” is not necessarily the goal always. This is especially true when it comes to a metrics strategy which can be costly and complex, depending on where you are starting out. The level of effort must make sense for the organization. 

Cella’s maturity model dives into these areas of Operations measurement:

  1. Enterprise top-down perspective

  2. Established performance indicators

  3. Voice of data end consumer

  4. Data readiness

Areas of Operations Measurement

1. The first thing to consider is the top-down enterprise perspective on measurement. Does your organization use a formal scorecard methodology? If yes, then it is important to understand and adhere to that methodology. Do you have a mission and vision statement? Are they communicated across the organization? Do you have strategic objectives that provide actionable direction? It is important to align to top-down perspectives and understand how your department’s efforts contribute to company-wide objectives.

2. Evaluate the types of performance indicators that are currently being utilized by Operations. There are a number of performance indicators that can be monitored:

  • Strategic performance indicators monitor how successful the organization is in achieving outcomes. 

  • Operational  performance indicators focus on inputs, process and outputs, and they should be a big focus for any Operations team because they measure efficiency. 

  • In-market performance indicators focus on how a tactic performed and measure effectiveness. 

  • Project, Employee, Risk and Customer performance indicators provide meaningful insights into specific areas of interest.

Various measure types will contribute to your ability to monitor progress in achieving strategic objectives. Evaluate what is being measured and what needs to be to ensure that you have identified the correct key performance indicators (KPIs) including the correct metrics that will contribute to those KPIs.

3. Identify and consult the voice of the end user of the data. This is an incredibly important effort. Consider it the “culture” piece to measurement. Once upon a time, the focus of data reporting was for upper management to track performance against goals and objectives. Today, the focus is on continuous improvement, and it requires ensuring the people closest to the process have the information they need, when they need it, to identify, investigate, and capture opportunities. It’s imperative to enable data sharing across teams so they can connect the dots that are needed to contribute to achieving goals. Identify who in the organization can benefit from specific data and understand how and when they need this information in order to use it properly. This information is required for your data collection and visualization strategy. 

4. Understand the reality of your data readiness. Consider these key questions:

  • Does the data you require currently exist? 

  • Are you able to collect the data in a way that can allow for the reporting you require?

  • Does the data collection cadence allow for reporting that supports decision making, or is the data only allowing for historical insights? 

  • Who owns the data?

Knowing your current level of data readiness will allow you to consider the resources you will need to support the data collection, reporting and analytics efforts. Without a doubt, the roles and systems that will be required to achieve operational metric maturity need to be evaluated. Understanding these requirements will start to clarify the type of roles that need to be considered (example: data scientist, analyst, data engineer or architect) as well as the system requirements. This information will guide the development on a roadmap to achieving higher metric strategy maturity.

Establishing the current maturity of your operations metrics strategy is the easy part. You can take a self-assessment of your Metric Maturity using Cella’s maturity model here: https://survey.cellainc.com/jfe/form/SV_9GmZ23TsyDnStmu

Determining that sweet spot or where you specific operation should be along with developing the roadmap for progressions is admittedly the heavier lift. For Marketing and Creative Operations professionals who are interested in increasing the maturity of their metrics strategy, Cella Consulting can offer expert support.