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Metrics are the measurements that companies use to help a team meet its goals. Metrics are formal. They should be clearly defined and tracked regularly.

More importantly, metrics should be acted upon. Tracking information without doing anything with it is demoralizing to teams, and consumes resources that can be used better elsewhere.

Operational metrics work best when posted prominently for the team to see. They should have a clear indicator of what the goal is, and should have a marker that shows which way ‘good’ is—sometimes high is good, sometimes low. And sometimes ‘just right’ is important in optimization.

Common Lean metrics are productivity, lead time, defect rates, and scrap rates.


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