In my experience, metrics serve three main functions: to increase awareness, to lead change, and to motivate.
- Awareness helps you understand where you are in relation to specific policies and goals. For example, if you don’t know how many project contributions were made by under-represented minorities, you cannot determine whether workplace policies that aim to create a more inclusive and diverse work environment are successful.
- Leading change focuses on determining a path. If a particular policy is implemented, for example, metrics will indicate whether KPIs increase or decrease.
- Motivational actions help communities attract developers and help members achieve goals. For example, many communities reward developers who detect bugs in beta products. This benefits the community in two ways: The bugs are fixed, and looking for bugs becomes a priority for community members.
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