Key Performance Indicators
Ingredients of a Good Metrics Plan
A good metrics plan will include a purpose statement, your basic question, the data, how you will measure the data, a timeline for using the metrics, how the metrics will be used, how they will not be used, and the users.
Whenever a supervisor/boss asks for data/reports to analyze performance, its important to remember the presence of fear and possible defensiveness. In the business world where time is money, any inquiries related to performance will automatically put the employee on defensive.
Let’s say Tom made a mistake in his department and told his supervisor, Peter. A week later Peter asks for a report on performance metrics within Tom’s department. Do you think that Tom will be on the defensive? Will he be absolutely honest about providing accurate performance data within his department?
Martin Klubeck in his book, ‘Metrics: How to Improve Key Business Results’, highlights four possible reactions that can take place when asking for performance data without offering any explanation for the reason:
- You will get data that the data provider thinks you want to hear
- You will get data that accurately reflects what the data provider wants you to hear
- You will get accurate data
- You will get a question – Why do you want to know?
If Peter mentioned that the purpose of him collecting this data was to send the data in anonymously to an industry association, Tom would be less defensive and in all likelihood provide accurate data. Therefore it is very important to clearly state the purpose of collecting data from employees, as well as stating how it will be used, and how it will not be used.
Key Performance Indicators: Importance of Accuracy
The accuracy of your data, the accuracy of your analysis and the repeatability of your process become vital to creating good metrics. Some ways you can continue to provide accurate data and analysis is by sticking to your process, using version control, creating and use templates whenever possible, using a non-threatening tool to capture your data, and allowing an outside party to assist you in the development of the metrics program.