4 Key Productivity Metrics That Small Business Owners Should Keep an Eye On

Key Productivity Metrics That Small Business Owners

Success means different things to different people. Success for your sales team may not be on the same your software development team in terms of success. In such a scenario, how can a small business owner measure success for their startup? This is where hard numbers come into play.

Data never lies and lets you define success for your business. Is declining business productivity giving you nightmares? Do you see employees wasting time in gossips? Are your employees browsing the web or accessing social media websites at work? If yes, then you need to do something about it. Hold your employees accountable for their actions by tracking critical productivity metrics.

In this article, you will learn about four productivity metrics that small business need to track.

4 Productivity Metrics Your Business Should Track

1. Attendance

First things first. The presence of employees is critical for higher productivity. This becomes all the more important if you have a small team that constantly needs to collaborate on projects. Keep an eye on sick leaves, late arrivals and missed meetings, as all these are indicators that your employees are not fully committed to the work.

Even if one of the team members is not performing to their capacity, it can put extra strain on other team members. Low attendance in a small team can hamper project progress badly and also subject the present team members to mental stress and harbor resentment. Even though being present does not translate into productive outcomes, it can be an indicator of your team’s motivation and effectiveness.

2. Planned to Done Ratio

There are a plethora of reasons why projects fail, and if you are struggling to complete projects on time, it is a clear warning sign that something is really wrong. You need to know why your team is not making good on their deadlines and commitments Planned-to-done ratio is a great indicator of what percentage of tasks assigned to your team are completed efficiently.

To ensure that you don’t end up wrecking projects, you will have to keep track of them from the word go. This is where an online task management tool can come in handy. Simply creating a well-thought-out plan is not enough to guarantee success; your team will have to execute those plans to perfection to deliver the desired results. Analyzing this metric gives you insights about team potential and their capacity for productivity.

3. Cycle Time

Initially, the agile methodology was developed for software development and project management, but it has now trickled down to everything. Today, agile processes are followed by all businesses. In today’s fast-paced business world, clients demand projects within weeks. This is where agile’s iterative sprint model can come in handy. If you are adopting the agile model, you need to use productivity metrics for agile. Cycle time is one of them.

productivity metrics

By following this approach, you can break down tasks into smaller and more manageable segments for optimum productivity. If you are following the iterative sprints model, the shorter cycles can push your team to their productivity limits. Cycle time is one metric that tells you how well your team performs when they are given a time frame to complete a task or deliver a project.

4. Defects

Another metric that was initially applicable on software teams but became a standard across organizations. All you have to do is to replace defects with mistakes and you can apply it on every department in your organization. It shows how many defects have slipped through and made their way into the final release.

productivity metrics

Let’s say you want to apply the same formula on your marketing department, and you consider a failed social media marketing campaign as a defect. Even though these situations are less frequent as compared to software bugs, but a measure of errors will tell you how efficiently your team is fulfilling the customer needs.


Keeping an eye on your employee productivity is critical for your small business success. Everything from their presence at work, the time they take to complete tasks and the mistakes they make along the way, can give you a clear picture about their efficiency and productivity. This also helps you fix productivity related issues and drive your business towards success.

Which productivity metric formula do you use to track employee productivity? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.