The Quick, Essential Framework to Measure Any Business Initiative

Meet Avinash Kaushik, marketing and Google Analytics expert.

One of his many gems is the Digital Marketing Measurement Model (DMMM).

The model helps marketers connect initiatives to business results before they launch campaigns.

The gist of the framework is a cascade from Objectives to Targets:

Objectives > Goals > KPIs > Targets

☝️ Right-click and save this framework for future use.

What does this have to do with talent development and learning?

You can connect talent initiatives to business results before you start a training project.

Use the Talent Development Measurement Model

Let’s take a common scenario and apply it to talent development.

Dana leads your customer success team. She asks you to help scale her team’s training.

Dana has a dozen customer success reps who respond to email, chat, and phone support tickets.

1. Objective: Start by asking Dana why she needs to scale her team’s training.

The answer may seem obvious, but it’s better to understand and unpack than to assume. You’re seeking insight here.

You want to discover the reason why scale (or build, optimize, change, fix, etc.) is so important to Dana and why now.

You want to answer the question “Why does this project exist?”

Dana explains that customer satisfaction is declining for chat support (her top support channel). The team is doubling its size next quarter to meet the demands.

Let’s unpack what’s going on.

  • Business Problem: Customer satisfaction is at an all-time low. Customer support turnaround time is too slow.
  • Business Response: The customer success team will double next quarter to meet demand.
  • Desired Change: Quick improvement of customer satisfaction scores and faster rep onboarding.
  • Why Talent Development Matters: Your team needs to help onboard new reps faster. You also need to level-up existing reps’ productivity.

2. Goal: Define the goal together.

Get alignment and commitment on goals you define together.

One goal might be to speed up new-hire onboarding. Another is to increase customer success satisfaction scores.

The goal is often the desired change based on the reason for the initiative. In this case, the reason is declining customer satisfaction. The desired change is to stop the decline and improve it.

3. KPI: Choose your Key Performance Indicator (KPI). Again, together.

Although I just mentioned one goal is to ramp up new reps faster, it’s easy to think that faster rep onboarding is a KPI.

I believe it’s a vanity metric.

It’s what you might think of at the surface, but you can dig deeper.

Faster onboarding isn’t close enough to the business goal of increasing customer satisfaction.

Go one layer deeper.

What happens when customer success reps achieve full productivity faster?

In my experience, ticket turnaround times (TAT) decrease. Customers hear from you faster. Credibility and trust increase. Brand loyalty increases. Net new sales increase. And so on.

In this case, a solid KPI could be ticket TAT. You’re focused on live chat TAT since it’s your top support channel.

Note the focus on KPI and its direct tie to the customer success team. Most learning and development focus on learning objectives without the connection to the performance of the people they’re serving.

4. Target: Put a number on it.

Now it’s time to choose a numerical value.

In your empathy interviews with Dana, you made sure to define her current state and where Dana wants to be.

You learned that Dana’s team currently averages a 72-hour TAT with Live Chat. Scary, I know. I’m exaggerating to illustrate the point.

Dana wants to get to 24 hours.

You now have your target: 24. You can also reframe it as a percentage decrease in TAT.

Putting It All Together

Dana asks you to help scale her team’s training because her team is about to double next quarter. The reason is due to a decline in customer satisfaction.

The goal is to increase customer satisfaction and decrease new-hire onboarding time.

Live Chat ticket TAT is the main way you’ll track success of your program you design.

The company wants to improve TAT from a 72-hour average to a 24-hour average.

You should see by now that the framework empowers you. You now have:

1. a model with which to fill in data before you get started.

2. a clear, concise story your executive leaders can buy into.

3. a clear map that you jointly created to measure success.

Put this framework to use with new and existing talent development initiatives. Let me know how it goes.