What could Net Promoter Score tell us if we apply it differently?

My previous post got me thinking about uses for Net Promoter Scores (NPS). I realized the measures I previously identified cover the high-level team outcomes well, but didn’t necessarily diagnose the source of any shortcomings very well. Particularly, my mind jumped to issues out of the team’s control.

For example

  • What if an upstream team is underperforming?
  • What if a product or other external dependency the team relies on is underperforming?

It occurred to me that we could also use NPS to narrow down these kinds of problems. If teams rate each other and the tools they use with NPS, then management can look for patterns and identify underperforming teams versus teams being impacted by external dependencies.

This is just an unproven idea though. It’s also possible such ratings would deepen divisions between teams by quantifying their dissatisfaction with each other. Or perhaps the measures provide less value than the effort to collect them. After all, a big part of what managers do is talking with their reports to understand their needs and unblock them.

In any case, it’s an application of a familiar tool that I’d never considered before. Perhaps, this can spark new ideas and interesting conversations.