What is a key performance indicator (KPI) ?
"A key performance indicator (KPI) is a metric that helps you understand how you are doing against your objectives." Avinash Kaushik
This quotation shows us that a KPI is a metric which goes in the direction of our objectives but it's not a answer. To properly use your KPIs, you need a strategy !
The importance of Key Performance Indicators
KPI can unite a team and increase productivity if they are well used. Indeed, you and your team move towards a common objective. KPI shows you the way to succeed your business strategy.
Key performance indicators also help you to track performance and correct errors. In the same way, they can show you new opportunities and accelerate your business evolution.
What are the different types of KPIs ?
Overall business KPIs
It exists 3 types of KPI within a business. Firstly, there are overall business KPIs. These KPIs are metrics that every employee in the company can identify and understand. For example, in a Software as a Service business like PingFlow, there are things such as grow number of customers by a percentage each month.
Team KPIs are used to boost operational excellence of a team and to be focus on one principal goal. Each team has his objectives so their KPIs are different.
1/ Project management team
Project management team tracks KPIs in near real-time. That's why they react immediately to a drop in performance or similar urgent issues as soon as they happen.
2/ IT team
KPIs are an excellent way to improve the monitoring tickets and support performance for IT team. It's also the best way to know if there are some bugs and correct it fast quickly.
3/ Communication team
In communication, KPIs are more about notoriety or traffic. You need to know how many person like your social network pages this month or if you have more people on your website than last week.
4/ Engineering team
Efficiency and productivity remain priorities for lean manufacturing process in supply chain. That's why, diffusion of the right KPI and at the right time becomes a necessity.
Some people think that individual key performance activity is counterproductive. However, if these KPIs are used to improve productivity of the team and not only of the employee, these one can be very efficient. You need to base KPIs on the resultats of all the team and do regular feedbacks to be sure that good performance of one person help the others to do their best. For example in PingFlow, individual KPIs are different according to the job.
1/ Product manager
The product manager’s job is to effectively communicate the benefits of the product and launch new features. His KPIs are focused on number of visits on the website. Also, he has to send a message which persuades people to try the solution PingView.
2/ Commercial director
The commercial director is more focus on the results. His job is to increase the number of clients and analyse which client is the most interesting for the company. Generally, he separates customers in several sectors in order to know where he needs to focus.
3/ Technical director
Technical director has to be sure that web solution works and there is no bug. His KPIs are based on the efficiency of his developpers team. Even if he trust them, he is responsable of the web solution and its performance.