You shouldn't be measuring KPIs

  • Let computers do a computer's job.
    Let computers do a computer's job.

I wonder how much money must be squandered in this country each year by middle management folks writing & compiling management reports.

It's not that I don't see the value in the data it's simply that I don't understand the level to which these sorts of processes still require human intervention.

With many businesses we deal with we're either involved in a great deal of the business' turnover as regular online transactions or we provide ERP & CRM functionality that captures a great deal of offline sales & management data in a great deal of detail.

As a result we are able to usually answer very specific KPIs very easily. Far more easily in fact - through interrogating the database - that our clients would be able given the reports they tend to ask for and consume.

Don't waste your time - automate.

So before you invest any time building a management report or calculating a KPI - or before you accept this information from a colleague - ask yourself; could our IT department or our ERP provider automate this process for me?

Frequently the answer is "yes" so you will have saved a huge amount of time each month and no doubt increased the accuracy and visibility of the information in the process.

If the answer is "no" then I would suggest you have identified a serious flaw in the way information is gathered and collated in your organisation and I would look to fix that as soon as possible.

What should I actually measure?

Simple, effective KPIs are a concept very close to my heart so over the next few weeks I will be looking in detail at what data you really must be collecting and how to get the most from your KPIs.

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Jim Morrison Rumsfeld's Law is written by Jim Morrison; founder of twiDAQ and owner of Deep Blue Sky Digital, a full service digital agency in Bath, UK.

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