Ultimate Guide to Enterprise KPIs

Ultimate Guide for Enterprise KPIs

Building KPIs is hard and has lots of hidden traps. That's why I developed a bullet-proof seven step method for larger organisations to develop the right selection of KPIs to achieve their business goals. This method is called the ROKS Enterprise™ approach. ROKS stands for Results-Orientated KPI System. This site is packed with free resources on the ROKS Enterprise™ method and this page is designed to help you navigate the resources in a logical way, bookmark it now!

The content links are grouped by ROKS approach step. Here you go, and don't be shy about getting in touch using the contact form...

ROKS Enterprise complete process

Who is the ROKS Enterprise™ approach designed for?

Medium to large enterprises that want to use their strategic objectives to develop focussed, effective set of performance indicators. It can also be useful for smaller organisations with complex or unusual needs.

The ROKS™ methodology provides seven logical steps for KPI development...

Step 1: Clear Strategy

Not having a clear strategy (or worse still, having a strategy that is woolly or vague) will completely undermine all your work on KPIs. The good news is that there are some checks you can run to see if your strategy is fit for creating meaningful KPIs.

ROKs Step 01

Agree what you are trying to achieve

  • Review strategy documentation
  • Identify strategic objectives
  • Where and how will your KPIs be used?

Article: Setting objectives using the OKR approach - Insider Tips from an OKRs Coach

Premium: KPI Checklists - Chapter: 'Step 1 - Clear Strategy'

Step 2: Engage

Experience taught me the hard way, if you don't have the right people in the room when you develop and agree your KPIs, you might as well have not bothered - you will have to do it all over again. This step is all about identifying the right people to involve at the start, how to involve them and keeping track of that involvement.

ROKs Step 02

Engage stakeholders and assess situation

  • Identify key stakeholders
  • Develop communications plan
  • Cognitive design training
  • Review existing reports and dashboards

Template: RACI Template for identifying stakeholders

Premium: KPI Checklists - Chapter: 'Step 2- Engage'

Step 3: Longlist

People tend to want jump straight to the 'right answer' and may miss many critical KPIs by doing this. The ROKS method separates KPI selection into two stages. The first stage 'longlisting', using KPI Trees, builds a full model of all the potential KPIs, without worrying about how important or practical those measures are. This list will be waaaay too long, but don't worry, we have a structured way of reducing this list in Step 4.

ROKs Step 03

KPI Trees to create 'longlist'

  • Draft 'KPI Trees' in stakeholder workshops
  • Run follow-up results mapping workshop
  • Redraft, review and sign off KPI Trees

Article: Find the right software to draw your KPI Trees - Tree Diagram Tools: Tips and App Reviews

Video: Hard-to-measure things... How to Measure Just About Anything

Premium: KPI Checklists - Chapter: 'Step 3- Longlist KPIs'

'How to Build a KPI Tree' Webinar

How to build a KPI Tree - Webinar Advert

A 45 minute session covering...

  • What KPI Trees are and when to use them
  • Demonstration, building a real-world KPI Tree
  • Five tips on getting the most from your KPI Trees

The session will include useful free downloads and some a brilliant offer on my KPI Tree Starter Pack.

Step 4: Shortlist KPIs

It's really easy to get 'carried away' and to try to measure too many things. This shortlisting step offers a bullet-proof way to reduce that list to a manageable size. It also documents the 'why' for which KPIs we selected and which we chose to leave or implement at a later stage.

ROKs Step 04

Develop the measures 'shortlist'

  • Workshop importance/ease-of-capture matrix
  • Agree 'use, aspire or discard' list
  • Set up new measures
  • Develop action plans for 'use' and 'aspire' lists

Practical guide: How to shortlist your KPIs - Too Many KPIs or Measures?

Premium: KPI Checklists - Chapter: 'Step 4- Shortlist KPIs'

Step 5: Define

Definition is all about writing down some vital information about your shortlisted KPIs, such as which data is used, precise calculations, what is or is not in included in the data etc. Honestly, most organisations will do almost anything to avoid doing this step. If you skip the KPI definition step bad things will happen. The tools provided here will help you think about, and record, all the important aspects of defining your shortlisted KPIs in a clear, logical and readable way.

ROKs Step 05

Define KPIs

  • Precisely define measures and KPIs
  • Document known issues
  • Make definitions and notes freely available

Article: Hazards of poor KPI definition - Defining KPIs: How the wrong KPI shut schools

Template: ROKS KPI Canvas for KPI Definition - A lighter, more visual, approach to KPI definition and sharing of definitions. My preferred template until the RACI definitions are crucial to you.

Template: KPI Cheat Sheet - A great way to share definitions and build up a 'hands-on' reference document.

Premium: Essential KPI Guides - ready defined KPIs, grouped into 17 popular topics, to give you a flying start on your definitions.

Premium: KPI Checklists - Chapter: 'Step 5 - Define'

Step 6: Prototype

Fully working dashboards and reports can take lots of time, money and effort to implement. Managers often change their minds when they see new reports or dashboards, upsetting their analysts and wasting huge amounts of time and effort. You can avoid this trap by creating 'mockups' your reports, getting sign-off on fully reviewed prototypes and then building the working versions.

ROKs Step 06

Design and test your dashboards and reports

  • Review the prototype proposals
  • Run dashboard live prototyping sessions
  • Review and revise draft dashboard/report
  • Approval

Checklist: Assessing your new, or pre-exiting reports and dashboards - Assessing Report Design Objectively – Avoiding Fights

Premium: The Brilliant Excel Dashboards Manual (£1 offer)

Premium: The Brilliant Excel Dashboards Kit. Includes powerful dashboard templates, walkthrough videos, sample dashboards and more.

Step 7: Go Live

The best designed KPIs and reports are meaningless until they are part of every-day life in their organisation. Rolling out KPIs involves fixing lots of problems and people. Fortunately many of the issues have been solved in other organisations before, and many of those tools and strategies are outlined in this step. Typical challenges involve slow KPI production process, reporting tool selection,  lack of trust in data quality, sustainability and many other factors.

ROKs Step 07

Roll out your KPIs, reports and dashboards

  • Get buy-in
  • Deal with issues with existing data
  • Map the KPI process
  • Seek user feedback and tweaks during nursery period
  • Hand over to 'business as usual' team

Rollout engagement

Checklist: Getting KPI Buy-In

Article: Building report engagement - Report Engagement, 10 essential lessons from spam email

Dealing with problems

Article: Spotting problems with your KPI data quality Accurate KPIs, Van Halen and brown sweets

Article: Dealing with reporting production problems - Painful report production? Why you should be worried…

Tools and techniques

Template: Action Tracking - Not just for KPI implementation, a handy template to keep track of actions, status and ownership.

Premium: KPI Checklists - Chapter: 'Step 7 - Go Live'

More useful material

Article: If you are stuck, or have trouble getting started, with your KPIs How to get started with KPIs, even if you have been putting it off for years

Find out more


The original guide to the ROKS Enterprise method is KPI Checklists. It's available in paperback, Kindle and ePub format from Amazon and most major online book sellers.

Expert help

Whilst most of the ideas you need to succeed are in the books Bernie has written, sometimes you just need some practical advice on how to apply those ideas to your organisation. A little help can give you a big boost towards your performance goals.  Bernie can provide an array of KPI and improvement services to give you fresh insight and new angles to tackle your measurement and improvement problems.  A quotation and situation analysis are provided in the 'Initial Review', a completely frank 60 minute phone consultation.

Here's how we do it...

Preparation: We will send you an application form, with costs and payment details for the session. Once payment is made, we will send you a preparation form by email. You can also share any materials or documents you feel will be helpful during the discussion (secure share details are included in the application form).

Timing: We will advise you of the next available consultation slot.

Qualification: Bernie has a lot of demands on his time, with only a few consulting clients accepted. If your need is outside of Bernie's' core expertise he will (gratefully) decline your application but recommend other resources to you.

Focus: These sessions are 100% focussed on delivering the best possible solution to your challenges. There's no agenda to sell further products or services to you, just the intention to deliver the best possible value.

Recording: The call will be recorded and shared with you afterwards, so there's no need to take notes and no chance of missing anything.

Satisfaction: If, within the first 15 minutes of the call, you decide that this isn't right for you, you are free to call a stop to the call - the consultation is free. After 15 mins you are committed to the whole call.

To request an application form and pricing please fill in this enquiry form...

Consulting Enquiry Form

Invalid Email
Please check the captcha to verify you are not a robot.