Well I am back from vacation in Peru.  Hiking the Inca Trail was  . . . well, life validating.  More on that later, time for a new installment of the the Seven Deadly Sins of Metrics Programs.  This time we cover the sin of sloth.  I wrote this as I flew to Lima from Newark. 


Sloth is a sin that plagues many measurement programs as they age.  As time goes by it is easy for practitioners to drift away from the passionate pursuit of knowledge.  The drift into sloth may be a reflection of metrics that are not relevant to the organization’s business, therefore not likely to produce knowledge that creates excitement and interest.  This can cause a cascade of further issues.  Few metrics programs begin life by selecting irrelevant metrics, except by mistake, however over time relevance can wander as goals and organizational needs change.  Without consistent review, relevance will wane, and it will be easy for metrics personnel to loose interest and become indifferent and disengaged.    

The same basic symptoms of sloth occur when management is either disinterested (not engaged and not disposed positively or negatively toward the topic) or has become uninterested (disengaged).  Whatever the reason, loosing passion for metrics will sap the vitality of your metrics program and perhaps begin a death spiral.  Keep your metrics relevant and that relevance will provide protection against waning interest. Ensure explicit linkage of your metrics to the business goals of your organization.  Review the linkage annually at a minimum.  Sharing your passion to develop knowledge with others will help generate a community of need and support.  Relevance and passion may not immunize your metrics program from failure, but they will certainly stave off the deadly sin of sloth.    

PS:  If passion and relevance do not work consider a new position. In the long run not acting will cause a new position to consider you.