The Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Imperative
It doesn’t matter what industry you are in or the number of employees you have working in your business, having a clear strategic framework for driving innovation and change within your organization is essential to success. Many businesses struggle to reach their full potential, but those with robust Key Performance Indicators and the proper tactical processes in place will fare much better in today’s unprecedented times.
To succeed in business today, business leaders need to develop both their intellectual and emotional intelligence. They need to be flexible to changes in the marketplace, shifts in customer behavior, adjustments within the organization’s culture, and technological advances which may disrupt the industry as a whole. They also need to be good at planning for the future and driving organizational goals despite increasing uncertainty.
For many leaders, the shifting marketplace represents challenges which may prove too much to handle. With this in mind, it’s important to make sure you have the right systems in place and metrics to ensure your business is tracking progress, so it both survives and thrives.
If there is one thing we’ve learned from building the web’s largest collection of business process apps and online templates, it is that no single strategic framework or tactical spreadsheet will make (or break) a successful business. Success or failure rests with the team, the individual, and their ability to effectively execute business strategies.
The simple fact of the matter is that exhaustive strategic frameworks and detailed tactical workflows are only as good as the people who implement them. As Otto Von Bismark said (in the 1880s!), “A bad plan that is well executed will yield much better results than a good plan that is poorly executed.” It is the responsibility of a business leader to take all of the information that he or she has in their possession and act on that information as quickly as possible.
Many organizations both large and small struggle to take effective action. Said another way, if you’re not sure where you’re going, any path will get you there. It’s a painfully true statement that makes the case for clearly defining, and then measuring your unique definition of success. That’s where KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, come into play.
With this in mind, we have pulled together what we believe are the best of the best practices for building out key performance indicators. KPIs create focus around what matters, and more importantly, how to measure progress. And we’ve made a very simple free template available that can help anyone create KPIs based on these best practices as described below.