The director of Maintenance indicated the metric popped out during a discussion answering the question, “If the department did it job perfectly, what would happen?”  The team felt that if:

  • The preventative maintenance system worked
  • The inspection system early identified potential issues
  • Quality service and scheduled maintenance was performed
  • Inventory had the right parts

Then the shop should have a minimum number of unscheduled repairs.  So they agreed to count the number of days this happened and it became a new catalytic metric for a culture change to a high performance workshop.    While they know they will never have zero days a month, they work towards it.  It is like a good vision statement that is not easily attainable but acts as a catalyst for what the company wants to become.   Thus began the term “visionary metrics”.


The concept of “visionary metric” is new.   It is not about metrics related to a corporate vision statement.  It is more about a metric that can be found at any level or function in an organization that reflects important aspects of value and drives actions and decision-making, aspects that don’t lend themselves easily to the traditional metrics.  A visionary metric for a product or service must reflect and capture the value delivered.  Since value is a consequence of a myriad of activities, a review of the “chain of consequences” was initiated


In a small work session on the subject of visionary metrics, the group felt that you needed to first explore the impact and consequences of successful performance.  A sales group had a set of metrics that they were performing well against, and question asked was, “What is the consequence of achieving your sales target, your closing rate, your margin targets and your customer retention rates?” Then you take that answer such as the first response was, “The sales team gets their bonuses” and the next question was, “What is the consequence of that?” and the next answer was “They feel a sense of achievement” “And then?” we asked and the answer was “The team has a sense of pride working here”.  We kept going and asked about consequences again with the next answer being “They begin to tell other people that the company is a great place to work” and then, “The department gets a good reputation” and then, “We become an inspiration for other departments”


The sales group then converted the answers to goals and metrics were created.  Some results:

  • To have the sales staff have a “Sense of Achievement” and the new monthly metric: % of staff that learned something new about themselves
  • To have the staff feel that “This is a great place to work” and the new weekly metric: % of staff who had a real good week – which led to a productive discussion of what made a great day in the department.
  • To have the department “Be an Inspiration” and the new monthly metric: The % of staff that fielded questions from other people in the company about the Sales Department – and the questions were documented to learn about what others were hearing or found interesting.


In the quality field, there is a “5-Why’” technique to determine the root cause of a problem.   In this case we used a new method of “The 5 Consequences” to learn from their success and establish new goals and visionary metrics.



Jim Regan

Jim is both an executive and consultant with over thirty years of global experience in all aspects of Corporate Development across all functions for transportation, IT and select services industries in the US, Europe and Asia. He has demonstrated his analytics and solution engineering ability by developing and leading transformative programs, launching new ventures and providing leadership in business growth and development. His focuses on maximizing capital value by creating and implementing programs that identify and release an organization’s potential. Value achieved and directly attributed to programs he has led ranges from $3M to $200M+. He has authored the book CRUNCHTIME, A Guide to Process Engineering and a number of journal articles.