Silicon Valley VC Dave McClure's AARRR lean startup metrics framework measures consumer software products performance throughout critical milestones:

  1. Acquisition (getting new users)
  2. Activation (signing new users up; account creation; downloading of the appl; commitment to buy a product)
  3. Retention (repeated use of the product)
  4. Referral (promotion; recommend to friends)
  5. Revenue (generate money)

Each milestone requires significant UX effort and investment to suceed. Think of your own experience with a successful consumer product such as Uber. Great design provides a frictionless experience for creating new customers, and ultimately, revenue. Products that invest in design can succeed, and those that do not, will fail.

The market forces on enterprise software, however, are different. Indeed, businesses pay users to use enterprise software, thus McClure's metrics do not apply. Add to this a typically siloed structure and we can understand why most software for the enterprise is simply terrible: UX and design has traditionally not been seen as a critical factor, as it has been in consumer products. 

This is unfortunate, as application UX in the digital age is actually intrinsic to business success. The cost of training a new employee, for instance, may be substantial, to say nothing of lost productivity from badly designed software.

Well-designed enterprise software can radically reduce cost and improve productivity.

To drive outstanding enterprise products, a new metric is needed. The Pega Design Team uses "OOOO" metrics. These metrics are how we measure and judge our own design efforts. We measure by four distinct metrics:

  1. “Onboarding” The time it takes to train someone to use an application. Gartner has suggested that the typical expense of onboarding a new employee in the enterprise is as high as 70% of their salary. Pega products are designed to reduce training time.
  2. “Operations” The amount of accurate work a user can achieve. The goals may be slightly different for each solution: Sometimes we design for maximum number of pieces of work, and sometimes it’s accuracy that is more important than productivity. That is measurable as well.
  3. “Observation”. The ability to monitor the usage of an application, drive behavioral insights from actual users usage.
  4. “Optimization”. The ability to update and improve product based on gathered insights. That has driven most of the work in Pega Express, Agile Workbench, and other 'contextual authoring' pieces of the Pega Platform. We build these features into the platform to give our clients a huge advantage in iteratively improving their applications.