Bad practise examples to avoid when creating KPIs

I have noted on previous occasions that KPI creation without …

SimpleKPI Icon By Stuart Kinsey

2 Minute Read
KPI bad practice blog post

I have noted on previous occasions that KPI creation without structure and clearly defined outcomes can lead to KPI hell. But I thought I would put together my top 5 examples of the reasons why people fall out of love with their KPIs.

Try evaluating your current KPIs against this list:

Trying to measure just about everything?

The more you juggle the more you lose control, the harder you have to work and when it all goes wrong it’s a bit of a mess to clear up. Getting swamped by measuring everything is not an effective way to spend your time. You cannot control everything; employ a ‘SMART’ approach to what you should be measuring.

It you can’t control it, why are you measuring it?

Sounds logical? - Aiming to track things that are clearly out of your control I always find rather odd. It’s not a KPI it’s a piece of relevant information that contributes to certain business performance, but no amount of improvement within the company can change that measurement. However mitigating the impact of something that cannot be controlled is a far more effective KPI.

Selfish KPIs - focusing KPIs on your concerns.

Are all of your KPIs focused on only things that matter to you - KPIs that fail to listen and gauge the needs of your customers? Most companies fail to intrinsically link their primary KPI performance with the customer service experience.

Not involving the people who will use the KPI.

You would think that this would be a given in any business model, involve the experience of the person who will be tracking or contributing to the KPI creation. Not only does this practically address the issue of management separation, but it will increase commitment and understanding of the KPI – leading to more accurate and positive outcomes.

The solution to everything: Create a KPI.

How did that KPI come into existence? – Was it just because someone asked for it? - Or was it because management culture dictates; that the solution to every workflow and process problem is to reach for a KPI? Far too often KPIs are created due to lack of management understanding or even more bizarrely that it exists as proof that action was taken to resolve a specific issue.

Stuart Kinsey portrait

by Stuart Kinsey

Stuart Kinsey writes on Key Performance Indicators, Dashboards, Marketing, and Business Strategy. He is a co-founder of SimpleKPI and has worked in creative and analytical services for over 25 years. He believes embracing KPIs and visualizing performance is essential for any organization to strive and grow.

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