Lean Scaleup Roundtable: Designing effective new-business building metrics

by Lean Scaleup | March 9, 2023
Lean Scaleup Roundtable: Designing effective new-business building metrics

In yesterday’s monthly practitioner meeting, we investigated new-business building metrics. To be precise: which provide a space for sharing and learning to understand what works and what doesn’t in new business building. Yesterday, we discussed the best practices in defining an effective metric system.


Idea 1: New-business building metrics play out on three levels. In addition to obvious dimensions such as budget and revenues, metrics should also consider:

  • Business-building as a whole – including anticipated value, time-to-impact, growth gap, and risk.
  • The end-to-end process – pipeline balance, pipeline filling, and pipeline constipation, which measures initiatives that are not moving through the defined maturity stages despite continued funding.
  • The individual corporate startup/scaleup – progress, growing scalability, leaps-of-faith, core/scaleup collaboration, and culture inside the scaleup. Key scaleup KPIs should be relevant for the Core and expressed in Core’s KPIs to foster a ‘one company mindset.’

Idea 2: Effective new-business building metrics are leading indicators, not lagging indicators. Teams should have levers to influence future outcomes, not just stats that tell them how they performed.

Idea 3: OKRs are an essential tool to achieve the autonomy/alignment piece in Scaling-Up right. To make this tool effective, the organization needs to change, and the OKRs need to relate to behavior change. You want to empower self-directed, autonomous teams, but you also need alignment to avoid any blind activism that produces outputs but not outcomes.


“So helpful – we need another session on metrics.” (Innovation Senior Lead, Pharma)

“Thinking on three levels brings a lot of clarity.” (Director Pre-launch Validation, Automotive)


What are your parameters for deigning effective metrics?