Key Performance Indicators (otherwise known as KPI’s) are metrics used to measure key methods of working within an organization. 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.
KPI’s are what is called “quantitative” performance measures, implying that they can be used to indicate how a process is performing. An example could be product delivery performance. The success is that with higher performance, then the organisation performs better than its rivals and therefore is better positioned to retain customers or to acquire news ones. KPI’s can also be included into employees personal aims which can help centre on the overall organisation objectives. Make sure they are achievable otherwise they can cause upset
KPI’s are not always easy to generate and therefore management who are looking at the overall strategic objectives need to think hard before creating them. It is key that the KPI’s are defined the same year on year in order to measure ongoing performance improvement.
KPI’s are the real elements to differentiate the winners in the business race versus the losers. It is essential that a organisation keeps them down to a handful otherwise they could become unmanageable and losing their meaning to management
KPI’s are used in Business Intelligence to assist in creating a picture of how a business is performing. Some companys may require KPI’s on a weekly basis in order to obtain a complete outlook as to how the business is performing. Build the measures to your true requirements. If applied in the correct way it can assist in keeping the business firmly on track.
KPI’s can assist but one must remember to not just manage a business just by by statistics. It is also imperative to use business sense as well.
KPI’s can differ depending on the type of organisation and the overall strategy. In today’s world of rapid information collection, the measures can often be created very quickly with very little (or no) manual intervention. Talking about my personal experience, a lot of the KPI’s results are automatically waiting in my email “inbox” every morning or they enter into my inbox during the day as events unfold. The measures help you retain (or even gain) control.
KPI’s are usually considered for the long term rather than the short term. They can drive business practices and processes and at the same time offer a significant differentiation between you and your competition.Think hard about what needs to be put in place. The KPI’s need to be quantifiable and reflect where the firm wants to be in terms of its strategic future.