The Success Tracking Difference (3) : Self-Management

In this mini-series, “The Success Tracking Difference“, we are focusing on the differences between the new discipline of Success Tracking and traditional analytics / business dashboards.

Success Tracking enables introspection and self optimisation. Photo by Ben Warren

In Wayne Eckerson’s book, Performance Dashboards: Measuring, Monitoring, and Managing Your Business he describes 3 types of performance dashboards:

  1. operational dashboards that enable front-line workers and supervisors to track core operational processes
  2. tactical dashboards that help managers and analysts track and analyse departmental activities, processes and projects
  3. strategic dashboards that let executives and staff chart their progress toward achieving strategic objectives

Each type of dashboard offers three sets of related functionality – monitoring, analysis and management but in different degrees. For example operational dashboards focus more on monitoring, tactical dashboards help users analyse the root causes and strategic dashboards focus on achievement of overall management goals.

Instead of being focused on a traditional command and control management structure, the Success Tracking approach recognises staff to active participants in their own management. We want to see staff discover autonomy, mastery and purpose.

To enable, this a Success Tracking dashboard blends Eckerson’s three types of dashboards from the point of view of the user not the manager.

In success tracking we are now doing requiring all three performance dashboard types – monitoring ourselves, analysing our patterns of behaviour and managing our own progress journey.

This is different from the traditional approach where only an operational dashboard is given to staff. Each staff member is expected to monitor specific activities but is not being asked to take a wider view. Someone monitoring activity isn’t expected to ask “is what I’m doing as effective as I could be? Does it help me reach my overall goal?”

Real time isn’t that important

One side effect of this is that real time information, as is usually associated with monitoring use cases, can get in the way of analysis best practice. Instead freezing the data into periodic “releases” is more helpful. This means we can faithfully compare this week’s performance with last week’s for example.

Introspection and analysis requires time set aside to look at the data from a wider perspective. By notifying staff on a regular timetable – say the same time each week – you encourage the formation of analysis habits, setting aside time to consider progress.

Key takeaway

The key though to understanding and planning your success tracking program is think of it from the “player point of view” – how does this help someone achieve their epic win? how does the dashboard show them how they are progressing on the journey? how does it allow them to self-optimise?


The Success Tracking Difference (1) : Single Score

In this mini-series, “The Success Tracking Difference“, we are focusing on the differences between the new discipline of Success Tracking and traditional analytics / business dashboards.

The single score is probably the most far reaching difference.

Compare the following images, one of a typical “business dashboard” the other of a single score success tracking program.

A business dashboard tends to feature several data visualisations without enabling the viewer to see a summary of everything in one go. It is designed with “monitoring” in mind – the idea that you are always watching the monitoring dashboard in case something goes wrong.

bad dashboard
A typical business dashboard layout with several graphics competing for attention

A success tracking program, such as the LinkedIn Social Selling Index, on the other hand, is designed for regular check-in and focuses attention on a single number.

Screenshot 2017-07-17 10.12.39


There are many benefits of tracking’s single score approach:

  • Simple to understand – everyone can appreciate a single number
  • Fast personal comparison – you can quickly see if things have changed (gone up or down)
  • Easy to communicate – you can send a single score via SMS text
  • Embeds priorities – you can add another layer of intelligence to the tracking by weighting different metrics and so prioritising some over others
  • Enables peer comparison – you can benchmark and rank yourself against others

The main disadvantage of the single score is that it takes time to design a good one. Working out the relative importance of different metrics is never straightforward. it is the job of the score designer to embed their own expert biases in the weighting. That means each “score algorithm” should be adjusted for the local context and business priorities.

This also means that just taking an “off the shelf” index such as that provided natively by companies like LinkedIn with SSI above, is not a good strategy.  Using someone else’s weighting is unlikely to deliver as great returns against your business goals as if you created your own single score weighted to your business preferences.

How to add competitor tracking to a Business Dashboard with Cyfe & Rise

Rise Boards can fit very nicely with your existing business dashboards.

Cyfe for instance offers a business dashboard tool where you can get up and running quite easily and very cheaply – you get up to 5 widgets on their free plan.

Adding a Rise Board to a business dashboard is a great way to bring a bit of competitive interest by showing, on a weekly basis, where you stand versus your competition.

Rise now has a new feature that lets you easily add a leaderboard powered by Rise to a Cyfe business dashboard either as a list or a table.

I’ve been using Cyfe as a way to monitor the development of my personal brand online. I’ve been charting my Klout influence score and my current number of Twitter followers – two of the key personal brand metrics I’m interested in at the moment.

However, I don’t want these metrics in isolation and, since Success Tracking is all about community and stories – it’s much more interesting to see where I stand versus others on the same journey.

cyfe 3.png

To this end, I’ve added the Gamification Gurus Power 100 leaderboard  to my Cyfe dashboard. I can now see I’m number 20 this month, so a bit of work to do to maintain my top ten spot.

I’ve also created a Rise board with a selected 10 accounts whose key metrics I’m tracking. I see them as my peers when building a personal brand – the top people are aspirational (I’m a while off their reach!) but it also includes people nearer to me who I hope to nudge past every so often!

How I added my Rise boards to my Cyfe business dashboard

Using Cyfe I added each Rise board as a widget using the ‘Custom – Private URL – table’ widget type:

cyfe 2.png

Once I had the widget on my dashboard I configured it by giving it a name, pasting in the URL from Rise for the Cyfe Table widget and setting the refresh rate to 24 hours.

cyfe 4.png

By adding Rise leaderboards,  I made my business dashboard that little bit more interesting!

If you’d like to try it, then why not create an account on Cyfe (you can use the code: risedotglobal for a cheeky 20% discount if you find yourself subscribing) and then add a Custom Widget – Private URL. Configure it by adding the Rise Online Influencer board to your Cyfe dashboard. The embed URL to paste in is:

Please do share screenshots of how your dashboard with Rise Boards embedded look – I’d love to see them!