What is the strategy to face the diversity of effectiveness measurements?

Effectiveness measurements are growing everyday. Not a day passes without having a new KPI emerge within companies, where each one of them is considered complementary or even more relevant than the other ones. So what kind of KPIs are relevant to measure the effectiveness of actions taken? Because KPIs are diverse, they must be considered as a whole, as the global vision of the company - its relationship and business story. In real time, KPIs should meet and if possible exceed expectations for simplicity. But choosing the right KPIs is essential as well as the correlation of those linked by the same goal. These KPIs together are critical for decision-making, we call them “super KPIs” as they carry the power to change companies. Those super KPIs are able to evaluate the relevancy of actions taken for new organizational modes in companies. They are, by definition, scalable and must be mastered in their analysis and representation.

Beyond the careful choice of KPIs and their assembling, their representation into dashboards is a stake by itself. In order to stay loyal to their power and diversity, dashboards have to be dynamic tools, able to adapt to all changes, evolutions or twists, it’s a must today. The simplicity and agility of the dashboards are key for efficient decision-making, they help organizations to rapidly grow in a constantly changing environment, by making it readable and understandable for everyone.

Good KPIs are those making you ask yourself the right questions, they are often easy to understand for the organization at all levels and allow you to realize what is necessary to positively impact results. For example, the NPS (Net Promoter Score) is often used to measure customer’s experience. Even if it’s a simple management KPI, it can help associates, who are directly in contact with customers, in changing their behaviors to improve the customer’s experience.

Another example would be to consolidate some KPIs to obtain an aggregate used as a baseline, a super KPI, like the time consumers spend online with the brand by adding the time spent on digital assets such as websites, videos, social media, or the advocacy (by collecting all positive content posted on social media platforms).

A good KPI is the one that is aligned with individual and collective performances and goals. By reaching goals, individuals and teams will feel valued and will be rewarded.

Captain Dash’s approach is based on this simplicity and agility. Our mission is to make the change of organizations a lever for performance. Contact us to know how we can help you!

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Written by: Bruno Walther, CEO & Co-founder of Captain Dash

Love that KPI, but let it go!

There is a saying that if you love something let it go, if it comes back it was meant to be. Sometimes companies tend to latch on to their KPIs for too long. The question is how long is too long? There are three ways to figure out if it is time to let go of a KPI:

The KPI has achieved a target and is stagnant

KPIs are meant for measuring very specific metrics and should have specific goals that define the purpose of the KPI. The basic idea behind this is to put into place improvement measures that help the team to achieve those goals. But, the fact is that not everything can be improved upon forever.

For some KPIs when they reach their goals the organization needs to take a step back and ask whether they are a priority anymore or not. If these KPIs have a lower priority since they have achieved their goals as opposed to KPIs that are still in progress then it is time to let those KPIs go.

It is better to pour resources into things that actually need to be improved instead of trying to improve something that has already reached the desired level of improvement.

Change of strategy

As a company grows and changes there are bound to be changes in the strategy and future goals. If the organization has a set of strong, well performing KPIs then their KPIs will be well aligned with their goals and strategies. As changes come about some of these KPIs will no longer be in alignment with the new strategies.

If a KPI no longer aligns with the goals of an organization or a team then it needs to be let go to make space for one that does.

Usefulness

Choosing KPIs is a science but also an art. There are times when a chosen KPI does not measure up to the expectations a team may have had. In the case where a KPI is found to not serve its purpose or found to affect other areas negatively it needs to be let go.

Letting go of KPIs does not mean to just discard them. It means that they do not have a place on your dashboard for the moment.

When letting go of a KPI the best practice is to archive the KPI so that it can be retrieved as and when needed.

Written By: Meghna Verma

 

KPIs – R is for relevant

It is commonplace for an organization to use the S.M.A.R.T. rule for their KPIs. This rule, in short, states that KPIs should be S.M.A.R.T. – Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound. While this framework definitely provides a good foundation it is rather easy to end up with KPIs that do not achieve the desired results. The reason often is the misinterpretation of the ‘R’. Most people make the R about the enterprise, i.e., KPIs should be relevant to company goals.

What about the individual who has to work with these KPIs? Simply put it is not possible for the KPIs to be adopted across the company if they are not relevant to the individual worker.

At Captain Dash when we counsel our clients on KPIs we focus on aligning individuals to the KPIs by keeping the following factors in mind:

Target Audience

The first thing is to understand who has direct impact on the KPIs of the company. How can a KPI be made relevant when the person who directly affects it remains unidentified?

People Study

The next step is to understand the environment in which the target audience functions. What are the factors that have an effect on their ability to deliver, what motivates them, what are the constraints they function under, what are their personal goals for their work, how do these goals align with the intended KPIs?

Gap Analysis

The last part about goal alignments is extremely important. A misalignment between personal goals and company goals can have a negative effect on KPI selection. Once the goals of all the stakeholders have been identified a gap analysis needs to be performed. This gap analysis serves as a blue print when choosing KPIs that are beneficial to both the stakeholders and the organization.

Control

The last step to selecting relevant KPIs is to make sure that they are actually actionable. KPIs that individuals have no control over serve to do nothing more than add frustration and a feeling of failure, neither of which is good for an organization in the long run. Moreover it is impossible to motivate people with something they have no control over.

Once KPIs have been shortlisted keeping individuals in mind all that needs to be done is discuss these KPIs with the respective people under whose domain they fall and help them align their teams to these KPIs.

So, while there is no ‘R’ in KPIs remember that there are no KPIs without relevancy.

Written By: Meghna Verma

Sexy Data = Smart Data + Beautiful Data

At Captain Dash we believe that data is sexy. Data is smart enough to tell a story and beautiful enough to delight your senses. Or at least it can be all those things. Smart Data

The world is already overwhelmed with data and the number of devices producing data outnumbers humans. This number is all set to explode by 2020.

What this means is that data is not going away and it IS the future.

As data has increased everyone has jumped on to the bandwagon of creating metrics. Everyone wants to know every possible thing that data can tell him or her.

As a generation we have become pros at adding performance metrics to as many things as possible – our health, our businesses, dating sites, even our social interactions!

But these metrics are just numbers again without the right context and the right vision. This is where story telling comes in. All the data that you or your business generate can tell a fascinating story when the right KPIs are applied to this data along with supporting facts, understandable charts and finally correlation.

Beautiful Data

Humans are visual beings. Not only do we judge people and things based on how they look but we digest information in matters of seconds when represented visually as opposed to the minutes or hours it would take to read it or listen to it. On top of that it is easier for us to retain a picture over a book.

So, of course visualizing data is key. But visualizations needn’t be boring pie charts. Visualizations should be harmonious, sleek and impactful!

They should make the viewer stop and spend time on them.

Sexy data

When you combine these two elements, the correct data with beautiful visual representations of it’s story, you have on your hands what we call sexy data.

This is the kind of data that is intuitive, hits the mark and is appealing to look at.

Going forward, the success of data depends entirely on turning the vastness and complexity of data into something simple and intuitive enough to attract its viewers.

Hence, how sexy your data is depends on how smart and beautiful you make it!

Written By: Meghna Verma

The KPI Curse

KPIs have a way of turning many organizations on their heads. Sometimes this happens because there are too many KPIs and too much data being gathered but often times it is because KPIs are misunderstood.

KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator with the emphasis being on indicator though people often tend to put the emphasis on performance. Due to this, KPIs more often than not become very closely entangled with targets.

At Captain Dash when we consult with our clients over KPIs we advice them to narrow their KPIs down to metrics that are closely related to the global goals of the organization.

By this we mean that KPIs are not the goals themselves; instead they are indicators of said goals. For us, KPIs help us to measure certain data points that help us to determine the progress made towards achieving our goals and delivering on our key priorities. This thus implies that KPIs indicate whether we are on track or not. They exist to provide objective information, which helps us to strategize better.

If on the other hand when one uses KPIs as targets they end up as short-term numbers to be achieved by departments and just serve as a scorecard more than anything else.

There is of course a reason why KPIs and targets get mixed up together. Other than the fact that they are both metrics there is the fact that for KPIs to work they need targets or benchmarks. It is very easy to see these targets as the targets that the organization or departments need to achieve.

Do not let them confuse you, these benchmarks serve as a reference point to see if we are on track and how much adjustment is needed, if any, in our strategy.

If you use KPIs are the indicators they are meant to be and let them guide your strategy they end up as very powerful tools to guide improvements across the organization.

On the other hand, an indicator that you could implement to measure progress could be the Key Transformation Indicator or KTIs.

Written By: Meghna Verma

 

Streamlining KPIs

Measuring performance and aligning goals are synonymous today with KPIs. The most commonly heard complaint is how there are so many KPIs to measure. But, the way to make sure that you are on the right track is to pick out 5 to 10 KPIs.

Why? Because KPIs often have a way of getting confused with metrics. Yes, KPIs are metrics but not all metrics are KPIs.

Any activity that can be measured can be a metric but a KPI has to drive a competitive advantage.

So, what are the key points to be considered when you want to narrow down your metrics to just a few KPIs?

Know your starting point: Take a stock of where you stand with your objectives and metrics. Which metrics are still relevant, which ones are redundant and which ones are missing. What are you already doing at this point and where do you want to go from here.

Build downwards: Start to review your architecture from top down. From goals and results to the methods of achieving them and then down to the measures. When you reach the KPI level you should be able to distribute and allocate them easily.

Vet any new metric: With the amount of data we have coming our way it is very easy to have new metrics all the time and they all seem important to some stakeholder or another. You need to start vetting any proposed metric with a checklist so as not to add senselessly to your core.

Perform maintenance: Periodically go through your KPIs and see if they still serve the same purpose. See if they need to be looked into with the same frequency or can the frequency be reduced. This helps to make sure that no unnecessary components remain on your dashboards. Do not be afraid to replace one KPI with another if that is what works for you.

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Of course the cliché of it all being industry related holds true in the end. The thing to remember is that while there is no golden rule the alignment of KPIs with goals is the formula to work with.

Read about Choosing the KPI that works for you.

Written By: Meghna Verma Meghna Verma is the CMO at Captain Dash.  You can reach her on Twitter @M3GV3RMa .