In the elaboration of MVP for experimentation, it is important to identify a key metric that will tell us if the assumptions in our hypotheses are valid. Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz, the authors of Lean Analytics (O’Reilly), introduced the concept of the One Metric that Matters — OMTM, for short.

The OMTM is a unique metric that we prioritise as the most important to guide the decisions of an MVP and to help with measuring the expected outcome of the MVP.

But OMTM is not a single metric that we will use over the life of the product: the metric that matter will change over time depending on the problem we are dealing with, or which MVP is being created and validated.

The OMTM should not be a metric that delays us, such as the return on investment (ROI) of the project or the metrics that measure the performance after the fact, of the establishment of the product. These indicators become interesting later, when we reach product stability. But they are slow indicators, and probably do not help for the initial learning expected by the MVP.

Choosing a OMTM gives clarity, alignment and focus to the MVP, which allows effective decision making. This measure supports our decision to pivot, persevere or cancel.

Do you know the MVP Canvas? A OMTM must be clearly defined in block 6: metrics to validate the business hypotheses.