The North Star Metric

The Definition

A North Star metric is the one measurement that’s most predictive of a company’s long-term success. To qualify as a “North Star,” a metric must do three things: lead to revenue, reflect customer value, and measure progress. If a metric hits those three points, and every department contributes to improving it, the company will grow sustainably—or so the theory goes.

It’s important not to confuse a North Star metric with “The One Metric That Matters” (OMTM), a concept from the book Lean Analytics. A North Star metric is a long-term guide, while the OMTM is for specific teams and projects over a fixed period of time (two to six months).

That said, using OMTMs can be beneficial for keeping projects on track, and OMTMs can fit nicely into North Star metrics and work to bolster the North Star metric by accelerating short-term goals and success