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How to encourage good KPI measurement

Performance Measurement 12th February 2020

Photo by Carl Raw on Unsplash

Rubica’s data bank shows that when it comes to developing KPIs and encouraging meaningfully KPI measurement within an organisation, many of us share some very similar struggles.

One of the biggest challenges associated to this is around ‘gaming measures’. This is where measures are simply seen as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – creating a sense of judgement which many people feel coming down onto them.

With judgement comes a desire for an individual to protect themselves, which often leads to a distortion of data. This distortion can be intentional or unintentional, but what it does mean is a true picture of organisational performance isn’t being painted, making it hard to pinpoint and improve things.

How to stop gaming measures

Gaming measures is a common challenge, but it can be overcome with some simple interventions and KPI measurement tools:

1.Performance forums

Look to set up a performance forum/team meeting where you can actively discuss:

  • Where performance is now
  • What is happening with performance and why
  • What you are already doing well
  • Where you could improve
  • Where to encourage continuous improvement

Once this discussion has been had, measures can then be reset at a level that is right for the team. The key to this is to build a team ego – building a sense of collective pride and ownership, rather than measures that are individually orientated.

For example: Everyone is being individually targeted on sales. Who is going to win? Would it be the most senior person, or the one shouts the loudest?

Change the frame by moving away from an individual target to having a team target. This will achieve the optimum team outcome and make the business more sustainable.

2. Honestly evaluate measures

Within your forum, be clear on what you want to achieve. To do this, ask yourself:

  1. “Can we get a really clear picture of what we want to achieve – can we clearly articulate that?”
  2. “What would that achievement look like when we are/have been successful?”

Once the answers to these questions exist, review your existing measures at a granular level – look to really understand the intent of each measure:

  1. Why does it exist?
  2. Does it reflect/support what we are trying to achieve?
  3. Does it represent the evidence we need to demonstrate progress/achieve our desired outcome?

If your answers to these questions aren’t valid, be ruthless, be brave – get rid of the measure and design a new one that better reflects what you need.

Summary

This article has explored one of the most common KPI measurement challenges associated to measuring organisational performance effectively.

Remember that measures drive behaviour, so look at using KPI measures in a positive frame where they encourage focus and a desire for continuous improvement (not continuous judgement).

Don’t forget! Download your free KPI measurement toolkit below – it accompanies this article and will further support you in activating what we’ve shared here.


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If you want help to redesign the way you measure organisational performance, and gain KPIs that enable you to make easier, faster and better informed decisions, check out our virtual and face-to-face PuMP performance measurement courses.

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