We have measures for everything - at work, in schools, in sport and even in our police force. ….One manager told me he has over 100 Key Performance Indices (KPI’s) to meet in his role.
People focus on what is inspected, rather than what is expected, so it is important to measure the right things. The reason KPI’s don’t always work is people measure the wrong things. Having 100 KPI’s may look impressive on a status report but how can that possibly focus your attention on the things that really matter.
I have found the most useful KPI’s, are those related to the outputs I produce, not my activities. Outputs are delivered to a customer, so it is probably best to start there. Instead of tracking dozens of activity based measures, that tell me how busy I am, I should be asking how my customer defines success.
To be an effective team leader I need to know why my team exists, what outputs I produce, who my customer is and how they measure success. If I make those few items my KPI’s, it will focus all my activities in the right place and allow KPI setting and tracking to actually help me manage my team’s priorities, rather than trying to navigate the instrument panel of the space shuttle!