• Eric Kish

Measure Organizational Friction

Updated: Apr 15, 2018



"In God we trust, all others must bring data." - W. Edwards Deming

Friction kills scalability. If you want to remove friction you need to make it visible.

To make it visible you need to measure it. To measure it, you need to create a metric for it.


We are proposing here a simple metric. We call it Organizational Bugs


A bug is anything that creates friction. Let's define friction as anything that does not FEEL right.

Counting the number of bugs would give you a good idea of the roadblocks you are facing day to day. But is not enough.


You need to prioritize them to address them in order of priority. For this we propose a measure called PAIN LEVEL. PAIN LEVEL is a scale from 1 to 5 on how painful the Organizational Bug feels. You also want to assign an Expected Time to resolution for each level.



Once you record the Organizational Bugs in some kind of a recording system you will be able to analyze it.

We used JIRA for this.



JIRA also allows us to have people vote on a Bug, thus multiplying the pain level. We make sure we announce a new bug to the entire organization so they can vote on it. We use Slack to do that.



The Total Pain Points accumulated by the Bug are calculated as follows:


Bug Pain Points = Pain Level * (1+ Votes) 



Once you have the bugs in a tracking tool like JIRA you will be able to create dashboards to make friction visible.




#organizationalbugs #friction

Kish and Partners Consulting
Boulder, Colorado