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Archive for Metrics

Why Group Metrics Are Awesome

I wrote earlier about why Metrics are awesome.  Now I’m going to go into the more nuanced version of why Metrics are so powerful when used as part of group coaching.

In other words, why Group Metrics are awesome.

Group Metrics are when you’ve got a coaching group in which all members (or some, you can have individuals sit excluded as appropriate) are working at the same Metric.  Examples include:

  • A group fitness program in which members are each tracking their weight and or daily exercise.
  • A sales team in which all members are pulling towards an office-wide sales goal.
  • A real estate team concerned with tracking performance measures such as number of appointments, showings, and touch points.

In each of these cases, individuals each have their own numbers to report for a given Metric, which in turn contribute to the collective performance of the group.  That group performance is calculated as either the sum or the average of all of the individuals.

A CoachAccountable Group Metric enables you to manage that this detailed tracking gets done, see overall performance as it unfolds, and optionally enable the group participants themselves a transparent view into group performance, or even the individual performance of other group members.

Let’s look at a few examples in turn, to examine the ways by which this can enrich group coaching and foster higher engagement & performance.

Regular Exercise

Say a fitness program challenges its participants to exercise regularly during the week, 3 times at least.  Let’s set this up as a Group Metric:

Just like setting up an individual Metric, but with a few extra settings.

Just like setting up an individual Metric, but with a few extra settings.

Note that I opted to include all members of the Group, and the unit of measure is days, as in “how many days did you exercise this week”.  Say this is a six-week program, so we’ll have this span six weeks.  As you can see in the Frequency setting, we’ll have folks report weekly on Fridays.  We’re NOT doing a running total (see the Data entry setting), and accordingly our target will begin at 3 and end at 3.  In other words: in the first week as in the last, exercising 3 times per week is the goal, and more is better.

Beyond group inclusion, there are two other group-specific settings here: we’re choosing to group the data as an average so we can see how the group is overall stacking up against the 3-times-per-week goal, and we’ve set client visibility to include aggregate plus individual performance, meaning they’ll be able to see that group average as numbers get reported, as well as peek into everyone else’s graph.  (A key part of this is that group members know that everyone else can look into their graph–that can have interesting side effects, more on that later.)

Click the "view details" to reveal a slew of blank individual Metrics. I posted a little comment to set the tone.

Clicking “view details” reveals a slew of blank individual Metrics. I posted a little comment to set the tone.

Group Metrics work how you think they would: as group members report their numbers over the passage of time, the Group Metric average is automatically calculated to show the updated state of things, visible at any time to you and your client group members.

After a few weeks of tracking real data, here’s how things look:

Ron was bringing the average down, until he got into it.

Ron was bringing the average down, until he got into it.

Think about having this sort of data organized like this as coach: you know exactly who’s thriving and who’s struggling, and can give meaningful and insightful coaching to both the group and specific individuals because of it.  The at-a-glance comparison among group members also gives you an immediate sense how feasible (or not!) a given target really is, allowing you to tune accordingly when needed (after all, if EVERYONE’s in the red zone…).

A Shared Sales Goal

Say a sales team wants to collectively cause $100,000 in sales over the course of a month.  Let’s set that up.

Sales Group Metric Setup

We’ve chosen to group the data as the sum of individual data points, and so here we have to do a little math: since there are four members of the group, each should have an individual target of $25,000 in order to have a group total goal of $100,000.  I’ve set the reporting frequency to be every weekday to prompt the group members to report on each business day.  Under Data entry I’ve chosen the cumulative option, as this is a matter of daily reported sales numbers each contributing to a running total for the month.

Here’s how this could play out after a few weeks:

Ron was dragging things down for sure.

Ron was dragging things down for sure.

The summed performance of the group can be seen at the top: at-a-glance you can see that the group is on track to make the overall goal.  Data points can also be conveniently seen for each individual: Chaz stands out as having really excelled relative to his individual goal, and Ron can be seen easily as being way under.  (Better yet: in practice you as coach would be able to detect this almost immediately, and have the opportunity to intervene and/or offer support way sooner than 3 weeks in.)

You have the option of whether or not to make all individual performance visible to all other group members.  While not always appropriate, this can be a great way to cause a useful sort of peer pressure to perform: everyone knows their own numbers are subject to scrutiny by other group members.  In the best case this can create a very healthy sort of pissing contest among participants, spurring on a sort of one-upping that elevates the group as a whole.

Tiny Habits

A Group Metric can be an effective way to instill a useful practice into your coaching groups.  Say for example you’d like all of your group member to, for the next 3 weeks, take on the practice of meditating daily.

Here’s the setup:

The .5 to .5 target is a little trick for Binary Metrics.

Tracking a regular practice is a good candidate for a Binary Metric, wherein the measurement is simply a “did you do it or didn’t you”, a one or a zero.

Here’s how the Metric looks two weeks in:

Group Metric performance at meditation.

Huh, is Chaz Canadian?  You probably won’t have that kind of trolling among your group members, but you never know. Could be fun.

As with other Metrics that have a target, what’s powerful about a Group Metric is that no one wants to be the one with lots of red on their graph.  It’s a subtle (but effective!) nudge to keep members keeping up.

Group Metrics accommodate a wide variety of group performance scenarios, and devising useful things to track among groups is open to a lot of creativity.  To summarize, these are the key benefits to using them:

  • Manage performance of the whole team thanks to detailed awareness of what’s going on with everyone.
  • See the aggregate performance of the whole team, always calculated for you up-to-date.
  • Transparency among group members of the collective (and optionally, individual) performance which pulls for individual accountability.

If you’re doing group coaching, give Group Metrics a try: you might be surprised at how much more engaged your clients become when the results are shared and visible in this way.

Piping Worksheet Answers Into Metrics

In the two previous posts we’ve covered the basics of using Worksheets within CoachAccountable, and how to wield their Form-Based variant.

Now let’s look to the next level of power in using Worksheets: setting them up to have your clients’ answers feed into their Metrics.

This is a bit abstract, so let’s consider a concrete example to see how this is useful.

A quick warning before we dive in: the ideas to follow are the stuff of putting a lot of features of CoachAccountable together to make elaborate, sophisticated setups to serve your coaching clients.  It is cool stuff, but requires a certain familiarity with some of the basic building blocks of the system, like Actions, Courses and Metrics.  If you’re familiar with these things already then you’re set, and might be delighted to learn of the fancy, integrated and automated setups that are possible.  If you’re NOT familiar, you might want to learn those basics first (though reading on here may serve as good motivation for that learning!).

Right then, let’s dive in.

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Being an Awesome Coach with CoachAccountable Metrics

Metrics is one of the most powerful parts of CoachAccountable, allowing you to do things in your coaching that are otherwise not possible with just spreadsheets, email, or even online shared docs.

They’re also the most complicated and thus tend to be the most intimidating thing to learn.

This 15-minute tutorial video will teach you the ins-and-outs of setting up Metrics for your clients, and teach you how to integrate them into your coaching style:

If you don’t use Metrics in your coaching yet, perhaps now is the time to start.

For reference, here’s the narration transcript:

» Continue reading “Being an Awesome Coach with CoachAccountable Metrics”

Four Types of Metrics

Metrics remain one of my favorite pieces of the entire CoachAccountable system: they make progress real, reveal hidden insights, and cause clients to be engaged at a very high and regular level.

Over the two years of using and learning how other coaches have used them I’ve come to recognize 4 distinct flavors of Metrics that are commonly employed: Cumulative, Measurement, Rating and Binary.  Each flavor has its own characteristic setup, and each best fits its own separate set of outcomes worth tracking.

I invite you to take a minute to acquaint yourself with these 4.  Do so not only to enjoy a nice tutorial on their setup (and thus on Metrics in general), but more importantly to gain ideas how to more broadly help and serve your own coaching clients.

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Metric Progress Now Visible via Email

This is one I’m excited about.

One of the serious wins of Metrics is that they makes progress evident: they turn a set of numbers into a tangible experience of how things are going, with a satisfying visualization of results relative to a target.

One of the other serious wins of Metrics is that they make it dead simple for your clients to track that progress at regular intervals, thus eliminating much of the tendency to forget as well as keeping goals regularly within their awareness between coaching sessions.

Those two major wins have been combined: now when your client replies to a Metric reminder email with their number for the day, they’ll get back an email response which shows them their freshly-updated progress in graph form, like so:

Visual feedback comes right back to your client when they report progress via email.

Visual feedback comes right back to your client when they report progress via email.

It’s an effect that I’ve already enjoyed while testing, and one which I think many clients will benefit from.

Why?  Because it’s satisfying to get that feedback right away, and that satisfaction motivates further effort towards next data point.

Delightful Collaboration I – Long Term Goals & Progress

As a single coach, my experiences can run a reasonable size of the gamut of all possible coaching scenarios, techniques, and structural setups.  Still, there’s no question that my familiarity falls well short of the 100% mark: there are a ton of ways of doing things that I’ve just never considered.  Thus it is delightful with other coaches share with me what they’re doing in their practice, insomuch as CoachAccountable might be able to help.

The Delightful Collaboration Series is accounts of when users of CoachAccountable reach out to me and say things to the tune of “Hey, this is nice but can you make it do…”.  On these occasions I get a glimpse into the coaching practices of others, and get familiar with [potential] uses for the software that I hadn’t considered myself but would be a big win for someone else.  I take these as suggestions of how I might tweak or build upon the current CoachAccountable.

» Continue reading “Delightful Collaboration I – Long Term Goals & Progress”

Metrics in Action: PushupTober

CoachAccountable Metrics are a powerful tool for measuring results over a span of time, yes, but beyond that, there’s magic in the measuring.

To illustrate, I give you PushupTober: a month of doing pushups regularly.  For the whole month the game is to do a single set, done once per day.  Starting at a manageable (but for most people will still make you sore) 15 pushups on day 1, and climbing to a goal of 45 pushups at the end of the month.

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Showcase Your Results with Embedded Metrics

Metrics are great for documenting progress and telling the story behind the numbers.  By the same token they are a great way to showcase the results that your coaching produces for your clients.  After all, nothing demonstrates progress and results quite like real numbers.

CoachAccountable now allows you to embed an interactive metric graph with just a snippet of HTML.  Here’s what one looks like:

[iframe src=”” style=”border: none; padding: 0;” width=”100%” height=”300″]

Mouse over the graph to see annotations and specifics relating to the target: it’s a dense presentation of information that really captures the progression of results over time.

Getting the snippet of HTML for embedding a metric is simple: just click to edit a metric, and grab the embed code from the bottom of the editor window.  Paste it onto your website or in your blog, and you’re showing off results to the world.

Just copy and paste, hit up your web guy for help if you need it.

Want to impress would-be clients?  Showcase the results you’ve produced with one of your clients at this level of detail, and your prospective customer will have a really clear sense of what they could gain by working with you.  Makes a great centerpiece for a case study, or even a blog post.

New Goodies

A number of new goodies have been added to CoachAccountable, this time with an emphasis on making the system even easier and smoother to use.

» Continue reading “New Goodies”

Why Metrics are Awesome

During the summer I’ve gone on a little about how I’m loving CoachAccountable for my coaching.  Now that it’s released and in the wild, the time is right to do some storytelling on why.

Today I’m going to talk about Metrics, CoachAccountable’s way of managing goals and progress in terms of real numbers.  Here’s an example of what a Metric that’s well in progress looks like:

Mousing over any particular point reveals annotations and where things stand relative to the target trend line.

At the most basic level, Metrics are but graphs of numbers plotted over a span of dates, nothing you couldn’t do in Excel.  But coupled with reminders, target trend lines, and annotations Metrics are so much more for guiding awareness, making goals real, and motivating progress.

Here’s how this shakes out in practice in a real coaching relationship.’

» Continue reading “Why Metrics are Awesome”