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Simplify KPIs for Efficient Business Management

I like to consider myself to be pretty good at managing my time.  I have evolved my various systems over the years and continue to evolve them as new tools come along, my role changes or I feel it is time to shake things up!

Over the years I have gone from a largely paper based time management system to a largely electronic focused system, but still using paper where I find that to work best for me.

One of the things that I try to do every now and then  is to revisit the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that I monitor, and make sure that I am spending my time wisely.  I find that all of us managers have a tendency to want more and more data/indicators about how the business is doing … yet experience has taught me that focusing in on a few key indicators can actually be the best use of my time.

With technology today I can get reports on a multitude of different aspects of my business, ranging from monthly standard financial reports through daily activity monitoring, exception reporting, quality initiatives, financial data, A/R reports, customer lists … on and on!!!  The trick is determining what ‘few” can do the job for me.

Here are some thoughts for the manager trying to stay on top of their business:

1.  Keep it simple.

2.  Decide what “handful” of indicators you are going to monitor … keep it as short as possible.

3.  Decide how often you will look at that data.

4.  Decide how often you will update that list (note update means develop “the list” NOT ADD to the list).  You NEED to review the list on a regular basis, but you also need to give them time to see if they are doing a good enough job for you.

5.  You WILL find interesting data at every turn … DON”T be seduced into thinking that you NEED it.

6.  The data that you need in your role today will change as your role changes.

7.  Share your thoughts on KPIs with peers and develop a standard set that works for a per group.

8.  Do NOT create your own tools … adopt the corporate tools and work with them.  The effort developing and maintaining them will be better spent elsewhere … but do share your ideas with “corporate”.

9.  These tools and indicators are just that … don’t spend a ton of time over analyzing, take the information and use it to get on with the job.  Remember the 80/20 rule … if you feel 80% of your needs are being met then be happy, because if you chase that final 20% it will cost you BIG in time and dollars!!!

10.  If you need help developing KPIs we might be able to find a consultant for you. 🙂