As Community Professionals, we know that setting clear metrics for success is important not only to your business for advocating for additional resources but to bring transparency to your community as it relates to goals and purpose. Yet, we found in the Community Industry Report, confidence in being able to communicate the business value of the community actually went down slightly from 12% last year to 10% this year.
On March 16, 2022, CMX Connect Hosts Elijah van der Giessen and Tali Vasilevsky, were joined by Ashley Collins, an Analytics and Integrations Product Manager at Bevy to discuss the North Star Framework and how to apply it to bridge the gap between community impact and demonstrating return-on-investment. Watch the recording here!
Eli and Tali run the Chapter & UG Program CMX Connect Chapter. Their events focus specifically on the questions, challenges, and experiences from running a distributed, or community-led events, chapter, or user group program. Read more about Community-Led Events Programs here!
Ok let's get into it!
There are various frameworks that community professionals can lean on depending on what they are trying to achieve. At its core, the North Star Framework is a tool that can help community managers improve the way they manage and build their community management process. This involves selecting what are called Input Metrics, a small set of metrics that you believe you can influence through your community offerings, and that will most directly affect the North Star metric.
Think of this as your single metric that speaks to your community health. This is the one metric that matters and feeds into your mid to long-term goals.
It’s important to think big, but start small! Set yourself up for success by identifying a small set of metrics that you believe you can influence through your community offerings and that will most directly affect the North Star Metric.
💡 Pro-tips for setting input metrics:
Community professionals know that being able to speak to the business impact of community programs is crucial to attaining internal support and resources, but the benefits span beyond. Although there may be challenges in collating the data, developing the infrastructure and subsequently monitoring it allows for greater insight into what the community may need and communicating business impact.
Imagine you are addressing your community or going into a stakeholder meeting at your company. You only have 5 minutes to describe your community program and how you primarily measure success. That sole indicator of success should be your North Star Metric – to best show the value of your community to your business (and vice versa!)
🔭 Pro-tips for setting your North Star Metric:
Examples of North Star Metrics the attendees came up with at the CMX Connect Event:
Here are some real-world examples from CMX about how to apply this framework
For CMX, we recently did a case study on the 1-9-90 Theory of Engagement and how it works within the CMX Slack Community. We can also look at how we are thinking about our North Star Metric through this lens! Here’s an example of how we would fill out our North Star Metric.
Our Input Metrics:
Our North Star Metric:
Mid-Long Term Impact:
Another example of setting a North Star Metric is from the data team at Bevy by Ashley Collins, a product manager. The way they are measuring the success of the product, and the people who use it:
North Star Metric:
Mid-Long Term Impact:
It is always important to remember that if your input metrics or North Star are not serving you, your community, or your business goals – it is okay to pivot! Sometimes going through the exercise of seeing how your input metrics and your North Star feed into each other is just as valuable. Setting appropriate goals as it relates to where your community is at and what you have consistent access to is key for success.Ready to get started? Here are a few resources you can leverage to define your North Star Metric today!