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KPI Problems

30 Second Tip: Do you spend too much time looking backwards?

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Look at your main KPIs, do they look forwards or backwards? Do you spend most of your time looking at financial measures that tell you how things were a few weeks or months ago? It’s good to include a number forward-looking measures, that indicate how you will do, as there’s still time to change the…

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Do not shoot the messenger

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I have witnessed more debates about KPIs and measures than any human really should. They normally settle into a few clear families. We shouldn’t measure -insert controversial topic- because: It’s too hard/expensive to measure We tried that before and it didn’t work It doesn’t have a causal link with the thing that we are interested…

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When little report-production problems become a disaster

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I’ve sat in a lot of MI (management information) departments over the years and have noticed a common theme. You can tell when there’s going to be highly visible (and embarrassing) failure in KPI and measure production well before the event. There’s a well established concept called Heinrich’s Accident Pyramid that asserts that a number near-miss events increase the probability of more…

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Six KPI selection traps to avoid

Here are some really bad ways to choose the measures you use and report on: Interesting measures – People are driven by curiosity and that’s great, but don’t overdo it. I once worked with a call centre that had 128 KPIs, they just couldn’t bring themselves to leave any out. This is a symptom of…

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When bad is good

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I’ve just seen a great example of conflicting measures. It’s from the NHS. Today’s Telegraph explains how NHS managers are deliberately making patients wait, as treating patients quickly “raises expectations”. What this actually means is that if you make people wait long enough (taking care to stay inside the current 18 week limit) they will…

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