Creating a Simple Metric

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Creating a Metric

Whether you need to create a Simple or an Advanced metric, you can do so by clicking on the “Create Metric” button in the Metric Details section. Note that this button will only show if you are an administrator on the plan item.


The "Create Metric" button

After click the “Create Metric” button, the ‘Add Metric’ screen will show. To start, choose whether you would like to create a Simple or an Advanced metric. In this article, we’re going to focus on creating a Simple metric. If you would like to learn how to set up an Advanced metric instead, check out Creating an Advanced Metric.


The "Simple / Advanced" metric toggle

Setting up a Simple Metric

After selecting the Simple metric option in the toggle at the top of the ‘Add Metric’ screen you will be presented with several different fields on the left side of the screen and a chart on the right. As you fill in the information on the left, the chart on the right will update to reflect the current setup state of the metric.

Let’s take a look at each of the fields on the left side of the screen:

Are you tracking a dollar, percentage, or number?


The Metric Unit Type select

This field allows you to specify what type of unit you are tracking with this metric. The unit options include dollar, percentage, and number.

How do you want to track this metric’s success?


The Metric Tracking select

This field allows you to specify the type of tracking this metric will have. There are 4 different options for this field:

  1. Maintain between a Baseline and Target: Allows you to track a metric that needs to stay between two values

  2. Stay above a Baseline: Allows you to track a metric that needs to stay above a certain value

  3. Stay below a Target: Allows you to track a metric that needs to stay below a certain value

  4. Move from a Baseline to a Target: Allows you to track a metric with linear change from one value to another

Selecting any of these options will show either the Baseline, Target, or both. Once you have filled these in, you can move onto choosing the metric calculation method.


The Metric Tracking select and values

How will the metric value be calculated?


The Metric Calculation select

There are 3 different ways in which you can calculate your metric:

  1. Manually

  2. Automatically, using the values of direct children

  3. Automatically, using the values of selected items

In some places within AchieveIt you may see the term Metric Rollup. This is synonymous with Automatically Calculated metrics.

Each of these types has its benefits and drawbacks. Let’s review each type of calculation method to see which type works best for your metric:


Manually calculated metrics rely on direct metric updates from users who have access to a plan item. An Administrator, Member, or more often than not the Assigned To, can submit a metric update (or a Progress Update with a metric) for a plan item. With the submission of each metric update the plan item’s metric will change, however these metric updates are retained so that you can see the metric value change over time in a plan item’s charts.

Automatically, using the values of direct children

Automatically calculated metrics that use the values of direct children leverage the tree structure of your plans to automatically calculate a metric. When you select this option, a secondary field will show prompting you to choose either to Sum or Average the values of the all of the item’s children. Choosing either of these options (Sum or Average) will then show all of the children items in a grid below the fields.


An automatically calculated metric (using children)

You may notice that some of the children rows in the grid have a specific color and icon. These colored rows indicate that the plan item’s metric values will not be used to calculate the metric until a certain action is taken.

A yellow row indicates that the plan item does not currently have a metric and will not be used in the calculation until it does (although it still keeps the item in the calculation, just in case you set up a metric later).

A red row indicates that the plan item has a mismatched metric unit type (dollar vs number). In this case, the child plan item’s metric will not be used in the calculated until the metric unit type is changed to match the current metric’s unit type.

There is also a handy legend at the bottom of the grid for future reference, just in case.

Automatically, using the values of selected items

Automatically calculated metrics that use the values of selected items act similarly to when you use direct children, however it allows you to specify which item’s metrics you would like to use in the calculation. Select plan items from the grid by clicking on the checkmark on their left to include them in the calculation.


An automatically calculated metric (using selected items)

Note that you can select any items from the current item’s plan, but selecting some items may create a circular dependency. A circular dependency can happen when a plan item’s automatic calculation includes another item which uses an automatic calculation that references the original item (in essence creating a circle of references between the two items). If you see a cyclic dependency error, double check to make sure that you are not creating a circular dependency with your metric calculations.

The Chart

As you make changes to the fields on the left, the chart of the right side of the Add Metric screen will update in real time. You can change between 3 different types of charts: Line, Bar, and Gauge.

The gauge chart is unique in that it will only show the current state of a metric, while the line and bar chart will show the metric’s change over time. If you are creating a metric for an item, we suggest you use the gauge chart. When editing a metric that already has historical metric data, using the line and bar chart may be a better fit. In any case, you can toggle back and forth between each type of chart as much as you like.


The Gauge chart


The Line chart


The Bar chart

Saving a Metric

When you are satisfied with the metric you have setup, click on the ‘Save Metric’ button. This will save the metric for the Plan Item and take you back to the Plan Item Card. If you would prefer to scrap all the edits you have made to the metric you can click the ‘Cancel’ button instead.


The Cancel and Save Metric buttons

The Metric Details section

After you have created a metric for a plan item, you can find an overview of the metric inside of the Metric Details section.

For Simple metrics, you will see:

  1. How this metric’s success is being tracked

  2. How this metric’s value is being calculated

  3. If a metric is using an automatic calculation, the metric grid showing all of the plan item’s used for the calculation


The Metric Details section

You can edit or delete the metric by clicking on either the edit or delete buttons, respectively.

Clicking on the delete button will prompt with you an “Are you sure?” message, just in case you accidentally clicked the button. Read this carefully; deleting a metric can have affects on other parts of the AchieveIt system.


The delete metric popup

Clicking on the edit button will open the Edit Metric screen, which is identical to the Add Metric screen.

Next Article: Creating an Advanced Metric