What are nanometrics?

A selection of TagsNanometrics are, as their name suggests, very small metrics.
Whereas more traditional business metrics reflect a significant period of time (perhaps a month or more of data) related to a function, a process, a project or a team, nanometrics reflect a moment in time, and typically relate to individual interactions between people.
Nanometrics are:
  • Personal - linked to an individual in respect of the value they are creating
  • Immediate - data is real-time and trends can be seen immediately
  • Transactionally based - the measure is taken at the precise point of value delivery
  • Effortless - usually requiring a single click to reflect an easily observed condition
  • Partial - they need to be aggregated/trended to develop a meaningful picture
An example of a nanometric are the faces at the bottom of this page, measuring your reaction to this article, and feeding it back directly and immediately to me personally to update my picture of the value I am adding through maintaining this page.

How are nanometrics generated?

The practical realisation of nanometrics is totally dependent on cloud-based technology and mobile devices. The utility of nanometrics lies in the effortless ease of responding to them: a single click using an intuitive scale to reflect a current emotion, but this is only possible where the necessary contextual data is provided automatically by the system.
To do this, the tags (QR codes, or hyperlinked emoticons) which represent the visual component of nanometrics are encoded with URLs which include unique references to all of the contextual data within them.
The nanometrics system then simply consists of the means to:
  • create the URLs with the correct contextual data
  • embed them in easy to copy and paste tags (hyperlinked images or QR codes)
  • link the encoded URL to the contextual data via an interactive page
  • allocate and record responses within their context (user, transaction, etc.)
  • trend and analyse the results, and collate them into meaningful results

Why do nanometrics matter?

Business success is increasingly dependent on individual decisions, made by empowered staff, in complex situations, within a rapidly evolving and uncertain environment. The results reported in the traditional metrics we can see all around us are determined not by the behaviours they are exhibiting today, but by behaviours they exhibited months ago.
Metrics only have one commercial value, to make behaviour more productive, and to place confidence and resolve into that behaviour. Back when change was slower we could assume that last quarter's data was a reasonable representation of today's. Back when things were more standardised, we could assume that the collective result could inform individual insight. But, for most of us, those days are long past.

Who needs nanometrics?

Agile performance requires agile thinking, which requires agile metrics. Nanometrics enable individual people to take personal responsibility for their individual behaviours based on their current and immediate impact.
Essentially, everyone who makes empowered decisions which impact the productivity and value-add of their colleagues and customers, and who work in an environment in which situations are rarely static, needs nanometrics if they are to work at their potential.
Furthermore, nanometrics are a key aspect of effective workplace analytics. Traditional workplace analytics maintain an excellent and current picture of the number and characteristics of interactions, but they usually lack information on the quality of those interactions. The inclusion of nanometrics enables workplace analytics to reflect the value and impact of what is taking place.

Inspirometer nanometrics

Inspirometer developed a system of nanometrics at a time when the World was not quite ready for them.
The Inspirometer system enables each individual in an organisation to 'Tag' virtually all of their interactions with nanometric links - usually hyperlinked smileys or QR codes - and to collate, trend and analyse responses to improve their value-add to each of their stakeholders across all aspects of their role - both formal and informal.
The idea is that this equips each person with the means to take responsibility for understanding and improving their part in the overall value chain. It is a system which is at one with the levels of self-organising-systems and distributed intelligence which is increasingly evident in the business press and emerging thought leadership, but which has not yet taken a significant hold on actual business practice.
The consequences of being a bit ahead of our time were not as terminal as they might have been for a fledgling business for two reasons:
  • Enough clients adopted our system for tracking individual impact of support personnel on external customers that we were able to keep our head above water
  • We recognised the potential of dissatisfaction with meeting inefficiency to focus and prove our system on improving meetings - which in itself has tremendous potential for business impact.
In reality, meetings are probably the most important element in achieving all of the above, and provide a compelling bridgehead to achieving our wider vision of individual empowerment.
For those interested in trialling our system of nanometrics, the complete system is ready and waiting for you ... but ... our experience (based on all of the above) would indicate that you may find it practical to begin with meetings, for the following reasons:
  • It is easier to automate what happens
  • It is targeted at a widely recognised area of need and frustration
  • It has huge RoI potential with which to win over allies and supporters
  • People be learning about nanometrics in a structured way
  • Any solution which does not include meetings is missing a vital component
  • It will be much easier to win people over to the rest of the system
  • And the price is the same whatever!