Key Performance Indicators is clearly defined by Oxford Dictionary as ‘a quantifiable measure used to evaluate the success of an organization, employee, etc in meeting objectives for performance’.
In simpler terms, measurable targets and objectives that help you move closer to your goals. KPI’s are by far one of the most important aspects when it comes to measuring and reaching our goals. This is because you are able to measure progress towards whatever goal or goals you are after. In sales, KPI’s are generally defined in leads, closed accounts etc. Making sure you are always progressing towards a sales target. What about if you are in the area of operations? What are you measuring on a day to day or month to month basis? What goal are you heading towards?
In this article, I will be covering the following:
Why it is important to create KPI’s
How to create KPI’s in 3 simple steps
What to do when you are in action pursuing your KPI’s
Duplicating the process for multiple areas in your life
1. Why it is important to create KPI’s
Key Performance Indicators help you stay on the straight and narrow whilst you are on the way to achieve your goal. No matter the size of your goal. Creating KPI’s that involve yourself are generally simpler because you only have to deal and manage you. If you are managing an operation with multiple team members and departments, it gets a bit more complex.
When executed correctly though, you will create what is called the heartbeat of the organisation. Creating the heartbeat of your operations builds trust with you team members, increases the quality of delivery for your clients and most importantly you will be able to see clear growth and progression towards your goal. Inversely, when you have no clear goals or KPI’s you are essentially just putting out fires (who can relate?). We know what that feels like, we burn out, team members are clueless, and clients spend most of the time complaining and, on their way, to recruit another company.
This is why it is so important to make sure you create KPI’s. If you spend the majority of your time putting out fires during the day and ‘just getting the job done’, you must make time even outside of work to move away from the battlefield and think what small things you can progressively move towards. Yes, off the clock, not in work hours.
We all have 24 hours in the day. How you spend your time is what is going to set you apart.
2. How to create KPI’s in 3 simple steps
What I want to bring to your attention is that you are already following these steps, but if you are burnt out or feel everyday like you are just putting out fires, it is because you are not following a goal or objectives. For example, you consistently manage customer complaints, you are behind the 8 ball when it comes to tasks being completed on site.
This in return results in never ending phone calls, emails and arguments or continuously chasing your team members as to why items have not been done on site and you get the good old ‘I don’t know’ or ‘there wasn’t enough time’. The only problem here is that this system is working against you. Let us put a few things together to make sure It works for you by understanding how you can create KIP’s in 3 simple steps.
Step 1 – Create a Goal
A goal defined by Cambridge Dictionary ‘an aim or purpose’. In work or in personal definition, this can be a target that will stretch you beyond your current situation. A very typical goal that we generally utilize during operations is the following:
Ensure no missed scope items.
It may seem a bit vague, but I will demonstrate why it is important in the below steps.
Step 2 – Create at least 3 main tasks, that if reached will guarantee your goal.
All staff are trained in all areas of job requirements
Fortnightly check in with client to ensure all items and areas covered
All sites attended to and ensure adequate time for scope to be completed
Step 3 – Create at least 3 daily tasks, if reached daily, it will guarantee that you will reach the main task.
Attend at least 1 x onsite visit when the whole team is on site
Conduct gap assessment of the team’s skill levels and ensure any gaps in skill can be attended to in training sessions
Determine scope, site requirements are in line with quoted works
Noticing from the example steps above, working with the end in mind, you are accurately able to determine the minimum course of action that you must do in order to ensure your highest chance of success in achieving your desired goals.
Burn out generally happens, when you create daily tasks or a to do list but with no direction. Hence you feel the feeling of getting nowhere. Yes, life does happen, but remember with structure and persistence towards a desired goal, you will remain on the correct path.
One last item to keep in mind, your goal does not have to be big or extravagant. The concept here is to create a target that you think is believable and achievable. As you become more confident with yourself and your ability to consistently hit targets and change with the environment, you can stretch yourself further and create larger goals and bigger visions.
3. What to do when you are in action pursuing your KPI’s
In a perfect world when you are in pursuit of your goals and objectives, you should be able to hit the targets you set for yourself with your eyes closed. Throw outside influences in the mix; team members, clients, problems at home, study etc. and it may be very easy to be thrown off course and your plans down the drain.
When in pursuit of your KPI’s, the main thing to do, irrespective of external factors (some factors may be excused i.e. life or death situations) you must block out time in the day to complete them. You must commit to what you are required to do until you have accomplished your purpose or objective. This is extremely important otherwise you will be knocked off your narrow path of commitment and fall back into old habits.
The second part to this, is when in pursuit is to ensure with whoever is involved, you must communicate what you are planning on doing so it does not feel like you are fighting your own battle. Team members, partners etc. usually assist you in however they can to help you because you have involved them, and they feel like they are part of your purpose.
4. Duplicating the process for multiple areas
This section will be kept short and sweet because the main goal here is to grasp the concept and then you may be able to continue duplicating it yourself.
Duplicating this process is a simple task to create but may be difficult depending on the restrictions you have in your life. When you have created your first goal and achieved what you wanted, what you want to do is to create a goal that covers and / or overlaps into another area of your life.
This may be hitting a financial goal (at your work or business) that will create surplus income for your investment into property, another business or anything of your choice. All the while knowing that your investment with the surplus monies will have it’s own task list that’s required to be completed but is separate to your work. Thus, giving you incremental goals and objectives in separate areas of your life whilst in pursuit of a master goal.
Another example may be having a purposeful life (a definition of your own). Think about 1 action you can do daily in the areas of your life that will create a purposeful life.
Leaving you with a fair bit of information to digest and take on board, the main points can be summarised as follows:
Goals and KPI’s keep you on the narrow path
Create goals that are achievable and break them down into daily tasks
Start small until you build momentum and celebrate your wins
Remember, a spaceship is always travelling off course. It’s the minor controls back on the target that allows it to reach the moon!
If you found this article helpful, make sure to check out 5 steps you must know if you are providing a service to a client.