Assuming you are also an internal product manager, I’ll give you some tips here for free.
What is the pulse of the business, and what is or isn’t scaling with growth?
For example, are you seeing a lot of issues or fires pop up because there’s a lack of visibility and/or a systematized process in place?
One thing many people don’t realize is that operational friction isn’t just a cost factor. It usually directly impacts the ability to increase revenue.
The concept of “we can throw people at the problem” used to be true to an extent, but it’s the thinking of old timers. People are hard to get to do frontline jobs. Even second tier roles, including supervisors and managers.
When doing discovery, I want to have an insanely accurate picture of what’s going on currently. Then start thinking about what success looks like in that space.
What are your stakeholders ideas of success? They may or may not have one, and it may or may not be aligned with what you’re seeing.
If you have a strong business stakeholder that you feel his expertise in what they do and are good collaborators, start mapping out the and aligning around what you both believe isn’t working today… and what the most critical next steps are, but making sure they are steps in the direction of the North Star.
I used to create a stack ranking like spreadsheet together where I rank each area of the business across each other which helps explaining priorities if you own multiple departments / areas.
It was scalability focused vs what I usually use for customer facing stack rank templates.
Examples of metrics I would use:
Compliance Risk (1-5) This represents the level of risk involved in the work that’s being done. Underwriting is high risk. Customer service for a non Fintech product could be low.
Process Visibility (1-5) This represents the percentage of work that teams are doing where their processes have a digital footprint. Things done manually, locally, in google docs and sheets, in peoples heads, or in ways that are fragmented without the ability to analyze activity or outcomes are what I usually eye for a good slaying.
Automation (1-5) this represents the level of automation that exists. I often start in places that are sitting at zero and use this metric to track my projects against until we fully automate massive chunks of work.
Speed to Proficiency (1-5) This represents the metric I use to determine how easy it is to hire someone and get them to full proficiency quickly. Often startups (or larger companies) spend a lot of time training messy process and hope people retain a ton of learned knowledge to execute in later. The funny thing about this is that it requires you to be able to measure performance which leads me to the next metric.
Performance visibility (1-5) This represents the departments ability to accurately and fairly assess employee performance. To really create a strong view into performance that requires you to address the other metrics first building internal tools with this metric in mind. Systems are transactional and like to store data important to a record or object. They are terrible at providing data on how people are using the system and tying that behavior to outcomes. Employees don’t want bullshit metrics that don’t actually paint a picture of what “greatness” looks like but feel pressured to do worse so their numbers look good. A lot of discovery should go into defining what great employee performance looks like then creatively finding ways to illuminate that behavior. I could do a whole Ted Talk on this but I doubt anyone would find it that interesting.
This is actually really helpful for automation efforts as you find ways to replace humans in process. You can’t automate work people do if you don’t have a firm grasp on what it is that makes people great. In fact I have consulted at several robotics companies where they focused on automating outcomes with no awareness around why their process was so much worse until they fully built out products they couldn’t operationalize.
Speed and agility is a constant issue in robotics. I digress.
Anyway those are some metrics that do a lot of discovery in order to to put firm findings there and continue to track them as you make progress. Of course I’m tracking revenue, efficiency, etc. Anyone can BS those numbers. These you have to know well to answer them accurately.
Hope some fit that helps.
Master this and you can charge 350/hr