Performance indicator

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KPI information boards.

A performance indicator or key performance indicator (KPI) is a type of performance measurement. [1] KPIs evaluate the success of an organization or of a particular activity (such as projects, programs, products and other initiatives) in which it engages.

Contents

Often success is simply the repeated, periodic achievement of some levels of operational goal (e.g. zero defects, 10/10 customer satisfaction), and sometimes success is defined in terms of making progress toward strategic goals. [2] Accordingly, choosing the right KPIs relies upon a good understanding of what is important to the organization. [3] What is deemed important often depends on the department measuring the performance – e.g. the KPIs useful to finance will differ from the KPIs assigned to sales.

Since there is a need to understand well what is important, various techniques to assess the present state of the business, and its key activities, are associated with the selection of performance indicators. These assessments often lead to the identification of potential improvements, so performance indicators are routinely associated with 'performance improvement' initiatives. A very common way to choose KPIs is to apply a management framework such as the balanced scorecard.

Categorization of indicators

Key performance indicators define a set of values against which to measure. These raw sets of values, which can be fed to systems that aggregate the data, are called indicators. There are two categories of measurements for KPIs.

An 'indicator' can only measure what 'has' happened, in the past tense, so the only type of measurement is descriptive or lagging. Any KPI that attempts to measure something in a future state as predictive, diagnostic or prescriptive is no longer an 'indicator', it is a 'prognosticator' - at this point, it is analytics (possibly based on a KPI) but leading KPIs are also used to indicate the amount of front end loading activities.

Points of measurement

Performance focuses on measuring a particular element of an activity. An activity can have four elements: input, output, control, and mechanism. [4] At a minimum, an activity is required to have at least an input and an output. Something goes into the activity as an input; the activity transforms the input by making a change to its state; and the activity produces an output. An activity can also have to enable mechanisms that are typically separated into human and system mechanisms. It can also be constrained in some way by a control. Lastly, its actions can have a temporal construct of time.

Identifying indicators of organization

Performance indicators differ from business drivers and aims (or goals). A school might consider the failure rate of its students as a key performance indicator which might help the school understand its position in the educational community, whereas a business might consider the percentage of income from returning customers as a potential KPI.

The key stages in identifying KPIs are:

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are ways to periodically assess the performances of organizations, business units, and their division, departments and employees. Accordingly, KPIs are most commonly defined in a way that is understandable, meaningful, and measurable. They are rarely defined in such a way that their fulfillment would be hampered by factors seen as non-controllable by the organizations or individuals responsible. Such KPIs are usually ignored by organizations.[ citation needed ]

KPIs should follow the SMART criteria. This means the measure has a Specific purpose for the business, it is Measurable to really get a value of the KPI, the defined norms have to be Achievable, the improvement of a KPI has to be Relevant to the success of the organization, and finally it must be Time phased, which means the value or outcomes are shown for a predefined and relevant period. [3]

In order to be evaluated, KPIs are linked to target values, so that the value of the measure can be assessed as meeting expectations or not.

Examples

Key performance indicators are the non-financial measures of a company's performance - they do not have a monetary value but they do contribute to the company's profitability. [5]

Accounts

Some examples are:

  1. Percentage of overdue invoices
  2. Percentage of purchase orders raised in advance
  3. Number of retrospectively raised purchase orders
  4. Finance report error rate (measures the quality of the report)
  5. Average cycle time of workflow
  6. Number of duplicate payments

Marketing and sales

  1. New customer acquisition
  2. Demographic analysis of individuals (potential customers) applying to become customers, and the levels of approval, rejections, and pending numbers
  3. Status of existing customers
  4. Customer attrition
  5. Turnover (i.e., revenue) generated by segments of the customer population
  6. Outstanding balances held by segments of customers and terms of payment
  7. Collection of bad debts within customer relationships
  8. Profitability of customers by demographic segments and segmentation of customers by profitability

Many of these customer KPIs are developed and managed with customer relationship management software.

Faster availability of data is a competitive issue for most organizations. For example, businesses that have higher operational/credit risk (involving for example credit cards or wealth management) may want weekly or even daily availability of KPI analysis, facilitated by appropriate IT systems and tools.

Manufacturing

Overall equipment effectiveness is a set of broadly accepted non-financial metrics which reflect manufacturing success.

Professional Services

Most professional services firms (for example: management consultancies, systems integration firms, or digital marketing agencies) use three key performance indicators to track the health of their businesses. They typically use professional services automation (PSA) software to keep track of and manage these metrics.

System operations

Project execution

Supply chain management

Businesses can utilize KPIs to establish and monitor progress toward a variety of goals, including lean manufacturing objectives, minority business enterprise and diversity spending, environmental "green" initiatives, cost avoidance programs and low-cost country sourcing targets.

Any business, regardless of size, can better manage supplier performance with the help of KPIs robust capabilities, which include:

Main SCM KPIs will detail the following processes:

Suppliers can implement KPIs to gain an advantage over the competition. Suppliers have instant access to a user-friendly portal for submitting standardized cost savings templates. Suppliers and their customers exchange vital supply chain performance data while gaining visibility to the exact status of cost improvement projects and cost savings documentation.

Government

The provincial government of Ontario, Canada has been using KPIs since 1998 to measure the performance of higher education institutions in the province. All post-secondary schools collect and report performance data in five areas – graduate satisfaction, student satisfaction, employer satisfaction, employment rate, and graduation rate. [6]

Further performance indicators

Human Resource Management

Problems

In practice, overseeing key performance indicators can prove expensive or difficult for organizations. Some indicators such as staff morale may be impossible to quantify. As such, dubious KPIs can be adopted that can be used as a rough guide rather than a precise benchmark. [7]

Key performance indicators can also lead to perverse incentives and unintended consequences as a result of employees working to the specific measurements at the expense of the actual quality or value of their work. [8] [9]

Sometimes the collecting of statistics can become a substitute for a better understanding of the problems so the use of dubious KPIs can result in progress in aims and measured effectiveness becoming different. For example, US soldiers during the Vietnam War were shown to be effective in kill ratios and high body counts, but this was misleading when used to measure aims as it did not show the lack of progress towards the US goal of increasing South Vietnamese government control of its territory. [7] Another example would be to measure the productivity of a software development team in terms of lines of source code written. This approach can easily result in large amounts of dubious code being added, thereby inflating the line count but adding little of value in terms of systemic improvement. A similar problem arises when a footballer kicks a ball uselessly in a match in order to build up his statistics.

See also

Related Research Articles

Business performance management is a set of performance management and analytic processes that enables the management of an organization's performance to achieve one or more pre-selected goals. Gartner retired the concept of "CPM" and reclassified it as "financial planning and analysis (FP&A)," and "financial close" to reflect two concepts: increased focus on planning and the emergence of a new category of solutions supporting the management of the financial close.

Productivity describes various measures of the efficiency of production. Often, a productivity measure is expressed as the ratio of an aggregate output to a single input or an aggregate input used in a production process, i.e. output per unit of input, typically over a specific period of time. Most common example is the (aggregate) labour productivity measure, e.g., such as GDP per worker. There are many different definitions of productivity and the choice among them depends on the purpose of the productivity measurement and/or data availability. The key source of difference between various productivity measures is also usually related to how the outputs and the inputs are aggregated into scalars to obtain such a ratio-type measure of productivity. Types of production are mass production and batch production.

Activity-based costing

Activity-based costing (ABC) is a costing method that identifies activities in an organization and assigns the cost of each activity to all products and services according to the actual consumption by each Therefore this model assigns more indirect costs (overhead) into direct costs compared to conventional costing.

Process-based management is a management approach that views a business as a collection of processes, managed to achieve a desired result. The processes are managed and improved by organisation in purpose of achieving their vision, mission and core value. A clear correlation between processes and the vision supports the company to plan strategies, build a business structure and use sufficient resources that are required to achieve success in the long run.

Supplier relationship management (SRM) is the discipline of strategically planning for, and managing, all interactions with third party organizations that supply goods and/or services to an organization

Customer satisfaction is a term frequently used in marketing. It is a measure of how products and services supplied by a company meet or surpass customer expectation. Customer satisfaction is defined as "the number of customers, or percentage of total customers, whose reported experience with a firm, its products, or its services (ratings) exceeds specified satisfaction goals." Customers play an important role and are essential in keeping a product or service relevant so it is in the best interest of the business to ensure customer satisfaction, and build customer loyalty.

Dashboard (business)

A dashboard is a type of graphical user interface which often provides at-a-glance views of key performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to a particular objective or business process. In other usage, "dashboard" is another name for "progress report" or "report" and considered a form of data visualization.

Performance-based budgeting is the practice of developing budgets based on the relationship between program funding levels and expected results from that program. The performance-based budgeting process is a tool that program administrators can use to manage more cost-efficient and effective budgeting outlays.

DIFOT or OTIF is a measurement of logistics or delivery performance within a supply chain. Usually expressed as a percentage, it measures whether the supply chain was able to deliver:

A market analysis studies the attractiveness and the dynamics of a special market within a special industry. It is part of the industry analysis and thus in turn of the global environmental analysis. Through all of these analyses, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of a company can be identified. Finally, with the help of a SWOT analysis, adequate business strategies of a company will be defined. The market analysis is also known as a documented investigation of a market that is used to inform a firm's planning activities, particularly around decisions of inventory, purchase, work force expansion/contraction, facility expansion, purchases of capital equipment, promotional activities, and many other aspects of a company.

Control is a function of management which helps to check errors in order to take corrective actions. This is done to minimize deviation from standards and ensure that the stated goals of the organization are achieved in a desired manner.

Production is a process of combining various material inputs and immaterial inputs in order to make something for consumption (output). It is the act of creating an output, a good or service which has value and contributes to the utility of individuals. The area of economics that focuses on production is referred to as production theory, which in many respects is similar to the consumption theory in economics.

Project management triangle

The project management triangle is a model of the constraints of project management. While its origins are unclear, it has been used since at least the 1950s. It contends that:

  1. The quality of work is constrained by the project's budget, deadlines and scope (features).
  2. The project manager can trade between constraints.
  3. Changes in one constraint necessitate changes in others to compensate or quality will suffer.

Human Resource (HR) metrics are measurements used to determine the value and effectiveness of HR initiatives, typically including such areas as turnover, training, return on human capital, costs of labor, and expenses per employee.

ITU-T Y.156sam Ethernet Service Activation Test Methodology is a draft recommendation under study by the ITU-T describing a new testing methodology adapted to the multiservice reality of packet-based networks.

Performance rating is the step in the work measurement in which the analyst observes the worker's performance and records a value representing that performance relative to the analyst's concept of standard performance.

ITU-T Y.1564 is an Ethernet service activation test methodology, which is the new ITU-T standard for turning up, installing and troubleshooting Ethernet-based services. It is the only standard test methodology that allows for complete validation of Ethernet service-level agreements (SLAs) in a single test.

In a business context, operational efficiency can be defined as the ratio between an output gained from the business and an input to run a business operation. When improving operational efficiency, the output to input ratio improves.


In the e-commerce industry, conversion as a service is a method of online conversion optimization that is a customized intersection of art and technology that combines analytics, behavioral targeting, software, style, and business rules to exact success. This approach advocates a holistic approach to achieve an improvement in online conversion.

Results-Based Testing is a business model for software testing. This business model consists of an alternative pricing system which allows companies to pay for the bugs which are detected, instead of for time spent on a project.

References

  1. Carol Fitz-Gibbon (1990), "Performance indicators", BERA Dialogues (2), ISBN   978-1-85359-092-4
  2. Key Performance Indicators – What Are Key Performance Indicators or KPI
  3. 1 2 Key Performance Indicators: Establishing the Metrics that Guide Success, accessed 23 April 2016
  4. Citation needed
  5. Palffy, Georgina (2015-04-14). How Business Works (1st ed.). DK Publishing. p. 146. ISBN   978-1-46542-979-7.
  6. "Key Performance Indicators". Colleges Ontario. Retrieved 2019-09-25.
  7. 1 2 Daddis, Gregory (June 1, 2011). No Sure Victory: Measuring U.S. Army Effectiveness and Progress in the Vietnam War. ISBN   978-0-19974-687-3.
  8. Austin, Robert D. (Robert Daniel), 1962- (1996). Measuring and managing performance in organizations. DeMarco, Tom., Lister, Timothy R. New York: Dorset House Publishing. ISBN   0932633366. OCLC   34798037.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. Martin Fowler (2003-08-29). "CannotMeasureProductivity". Martinfowler.com. Retrieved 2013-05-25.

Further reading