Give individuals direct ownership of metrics they're responsible for
Jim Barksdale once said, "The infantry is always ahead of headquarters" – or as John Stein puts it in First Round Review, "Your company's most important decisions are made closest to the customer."
[The most important decisions are] made by people interacting directly with customers — who are seldom your top leaders once you reach a certain size. So you need to empower them with the context, metrics, and direction to make these decisions well on their own.
Individual teams and teammates become more effective when they have not only visibility and context into broader goals and objectives, but also agency over choosing which metrics impact those goals most. Study after study shows that the #1 characteristic of a strong organization is how closely they agree with this statement: "Everyone has a good idea of the decisions or actions for which he or she is responsible."
Giving individuals control over which metrics and goals they're responsible also reduces the risk of surrogation, which is when individual metrics become more important to teammates than the broader objective they're mapped to. (For instance, imagine Customer Success agents asking customers to provide good ratings simply because a rating metric was being emphasized, instead of actually working on initiatives to improve the customer's experience.)
It's important to be able to connect ownership at each level of your team to important metrics. In Rally, teams can assign collaborators to metric – team members who might own part of the broader goal, but not all of it. This enables each person to update and impact what they're directly responsible for.
Here are a few other best practices on creating ownership: