Critical Startup Metrics By Department

Dave Bailey has an excellent post up titled The Anatomy of a Startup Organisation where he covers a number of topics related to organizing the departments in a startup. My favorite part is how he shares the most important metrics.

Here’s a quick recap of the critical startup metrics by department:


  • Company’s North Star Metric
  • Overall dashboard of metrics to run the business
  • Runway – how many months of cash burn in the bank


  • Happiness – Net Promoter Score
  • Engagement – Active users per week
  • Adoption – Percentage of users that use a module or feature
  • Retention – Percent of users that sign in 30 days after signup
  • Task success – Time it takes to complete a task


  • Quality – Number of important open bugs
  • Velocity – Average points completed per sprint
  • Performance – Uptime or average page load time


  • Channel Leads – By channel and cost
  • Marketing Qualified Leads – Leads that meet quality characteristics


  • Revenue – New revenue per month
  • Sales Qualified Leads – Leads that meet quality characteristics
  • Win Rate – Sales qualified leads to customers
  • Deal Size – Average contract value for the month
  • Velocity – Average sales cycle

Customer Success

  • Customer Engagement – Survey results
  • Efficiency – Average response time
  • Churn – Percent of customers that leave
  • Expansion Revenue – Value of upsells


  • Working Capital – Capital available to use
  • Operating Cash Flow – How the cash position is changing over time
  • Financial Ratios – Ratios like cost of customer acquisition to lifetime value as well as the Rule of 40 score


  • Hiring – Time and cost of hiring
  • Engagement – Engagement score or employee Net Promoter Score
  • Process – Percentage of check-ins and performance reviews completed

For many more metrics to track, head on over to The Definitive List of Weekly Operational Metrics for SaaS Startups. The Anatomy of a Startup Organisation is excellent and all entrepreneurs should start with these critical metrics.

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