Key Performance Measures | Foundations of Success
Key Performance Indicators (otherwise known as KPI’s) are metrics used to measure key methods of working within an organisation. They can be initially used as starting points to improve a process or processes , but the ultimate aim is to improve the performance of the company and to ensure strategic success and to use them on an ongoing basis.
Key Performance Measures are what is called “quantitative” performance measures; meaning that they can be used to indicate how a process is performing. An example could be product delivery performance to the end customer. The success is that with higher performance, the organisation performs better than its competitors and therefore is better positioned to retain customers or even gain new ones.
Key Performance Measures can also be built into employees personal objectives which can help center on the overall company objectives. Make sure they are achievable otherwise they can cause poor morale.
Perform and Measure...perform and measure
Key Performance Measures are not always easy to generate, therefore executives who are looking at the overall strategic objectives need to think deeply before creating them. It is important that the Key Performance Measures that are created are the same year on year in order to measure ongoing performance improvement (whilst ensuring they are still relevant to the current business model).
Key to winning the race
Key Performance Measures are the real key to differentiate the winners in the business race versus the losers. It is essential that a company keeps them down to a handful; otherwise they could become unmanageable and lose their meaning to management.
Key Performance Measures are used in Business Intelligence to assist in creating a vision of how a business is performing. Some organisations may require Key Performance Measures on a weekly or even daily basis in order to obtain a complete picture as to how the business is performing.
Build the measures to your true requirements. If applied in the correct way they can assist in keeping the business firmly on track and be a great tool,when implementing other quality driven business.
Make your measurement easy...if you can!
Key Performance Measures can differ depending on the type of organisation and the overall strategy. In today’s world of rapid data collection, the measures can often be produced very quickly with very little (or no) manual intervention.
Talking from personal experience, a lot of the Key Performance Measures output is automatically waiting in my email “inbox” every morning or enters my inbox during the day as events unfold. The measures help you retain (or even gain) control.
Key Performance Measures are often considered for the long term rather than the short term (although they can have a place in short term business targets). They can drive business practices and processes and at the same time offer a significant difference between you and your competitors if used in a strategic way.
Think hard about what needs to be put in place. The Key Performance Measures need to be measurable and reflect where the organisation wants to be in terms of its strategic future.