Just because you can doesn’t mean you should
I recently had an unexpected lesson on KPIs from my solar panel installer. She was running through the handover process when he told me about an App that I could install to track energy generation. She said, ‘you will install it, use it for a few weeks, then rarely look at it again…’
At the time, I didn’t think much about her comments, then recently, I realised I haven’t looked at it for months. So why have I lost interest?
The simple answer is while it was interesting to see the data (KPI) on how much power I was generating, I could do nothing about it. The panels are fixed, and then when the sun shines, I make hay, as the saying goes. The KPIs weren’t actionable, so why did I need to monitor them.
If we consider KPIs in the business context, then ‘interesting KPIs’ can be at best distracting and, at worst, result in lost productivity and management focus.
We have seen an explosion in the number of KPIs and metrics available to teams over recent years using data management tools that can churn out performance stats for almost any activity over any period. You want live data. You’ve got it!
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Recently we worked with a client where frontline teams were overwhelmed with information; they had access to hundreds of reports each week. Rather than creating ‘focus,’ it did the opposite; it became very distracting as they tried to choose what KPIs/trends were worthy of action.
They didn’t know where they should invest their time to drive improvement. They couldn’t hear the ‘signal in the noise.
Yes, it’s possible to measure almost everything with today’s technology. But if we want teams to focus on the critical issues, leaders must design KPIs to ensure they provide teams with the information they need in the suitable format at the right frequency to drive improvement.
Good KPIs don’t just happen; they are designed to drive change, and, yes unlike, my solar panel app, they should always be actionable. What Apps / KPIs are you going to delete?
We have an approach to finding the signal in the noise. Drop us a line if you want to learn more about how Reson8 uses KPIs to drive improvements by focusing teams on critical issues.