As we come up on the holiday season and we look forward to a break, many of us will use the time for reflecting on 2019 and thinking about the year ahead. What went well? What didn’t go so well? What do we want to achieve next time around?
Unfortunately, like so many new year’s resolutions, we get back into the grind come January and so often within a short space of time our best intentions are put to one side as we are enveloped in the daily fire fighting that we all have to do.
So how can we break that cycle so that this time around, we don’t just set our goals for the future, but we actually make a real and sustained effort to achieve them?
My view is that we use the break to give some thought into answering the following questions during the period of reflection?
- What objectives did we set for 2019?
- Did we achieve them and/or are they still relevant to the future?
- What impact have those objectives had on the business and your life?
- What key performance indicators (KPIs) did we use to monitor that impact?
- Were those KPIs the right ones?
And it’s this last question that I am going to focus on for the rest of this article. Asked another way, are you measuring and monitoring the right things?
A good KPI should have all the following characteristics:
- It should be aligned with your business plan and the goals set therein;
- It should be easily and objectively measurable;
- It should be measuring something important and impactful – a positive outcome should have a major positive impact and vice versa;
- It should be something that you can influence; and
- It should be something that you can drive by your actions.
So for example, if your business plan wants to increase the number of new customers, you might measure some or all of:
- Lead generation – number of new enquiries
- Number of new customer meetings
- Number of proposals sent out
- Conversion rates
That’s a very specific example but you can see how your behaviour and can and will have a direct influence on those and how an improvement across any of those might also have a significant impact on the business.
If you get your KPI’s right so that you are choosing to monitor and manage the real KPIs of the business, you will naturally maintain focus on achieving your business goals or personal goals. You will be focussing your attention on the things that matter most, consequently you’ll feel more in control of the business and you will be able to focus your team likewise on those things – meaning you can get them doing many of the things that right now fall on you.
And who knows? When Christmas 2020 arrives perhaps you won’t feel so like you need the break!
Written by Barry Soraff
If you need any advice or coaching to improve or implement KPI’s, we can help. We developed our KPI improvement coaching service to enable you to understand the key drivers in your business. We want you to learn how to accurately measure them and apply strategies and tactics to improve them. Your KPI’s may be financial, e.g. gross profit margin, or non-financial e.g. customer satisfaction ratings. We’ll then teach you how to measure each KPI and set improvement targets. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org