I was working with a new client yesterday and heard about an unusual metric they are tracking on their project.
They have a running tote board showing the names of the team members. They are tracking the number of negative comments that are made be everyone; things like sarcastic wisecracks, cynical comments or pessimistic opinions. They want to track if this metric goes up if the project becomes challenged.
Like any metric, the key will be what they do with it to manage and change behavior. If they see the number go up on a weekly or monthly basis, will they take action to bring the metric back down? This could be a good indicator it's time for a team building activity or some other break in the routine.