Designing and implementing a Performance Management System (PMS) based on performance measurement tools such as key performance indicators (KPIs) is a thorough step-by-step process. It requires effective management of all the phases of the implementation process and proper allocation of responsibilities to all the stakeholders involved. With this, the KPI implementation project plan lays emphasis on conducting KPI selection workshops.
Whether or not the PMS within your organization is comprehensive, KPIs can be measured across organizational layers: Corporate/Organizational, Divisional, Departmental, or Individual/Employee levels in accordance with the organizational context. For these performance indicators to be measured in standardized tools, such as a balanced scorecard, they need to be selected, and such selection should occur during dedicated meetings.
Such meetings require the attendance of specifically allocated stakeholders to provide constructive insights and foster a corporate community culture based on continuous improvement. As a line of practice, the participants of these workshops hold positions, such as department heads, strategists, performance analysts, members of the performance management office, and allocated members of the Board, all based on their availability. Note that other members could attend the workshops as per company practice. Attendance at these important meetings requires an invitation, though.
The invitation is a crucial, pre-workshop phase, as it sets the tone, pace, and mindset of the delegates who will join the event. Such invitation is generally in the form of an email with quite some content and attached materials. The email aims to provide contextualization and reasoning behind the request to certain members of the organization to attend the workshops. It is a request that comes from the Strategy Office or the Performance Management Office or whoever oversees the Performance Management practices in the organization, at least two to three weeks in advance of the date of the event.
What should be included in the KPI selection workshops invitation?
- Brief introduction about the upcoming workshop;
- Logistical information such as date, time, and location of the event;
- Detailed KPI selection workshop agenda;
- Reading materials and corporate documentation attached
What are the key documents to be attached to mentally prepare our participants and make this workshop a success?
- As a line of practice, it is recommended to share educational materials, prepared by the Performance Management Office, related to KPI selection, KPI Alignment practices, and Performance Measurement and Management tools. The delegates, whether or not they are practitioners in the field, are invited to go through the materials;
- Strategic and Performance Management tools linked to previous performance cycles, such as Corporate Strategy Plan, Organizational Scorecards, Dashboards, and Portfolio of Initiatives, must be included.
- In certain organizational contexts, a written note from top management and C-Suites may be added in order to highlight one factor: The involvement and support of top management in the design and implementation of the framework. This note could be very beneficial buy-in wise as well.
Setting the right tone and mindset in preparation for the workshop is very much advised. The delegates, especially after the workshops occur, will act as champions in disseminating knowledge and replicating the KPI best practices in their respective departments. Furthermore, it will support the ultimate purpose of securing the much-required buy-in from middle managers and employees across departments towards the PMS design.
If you would like to learn more about KPI selection practices and the follow-up activities to the KPI selection workshops, we kindly invite you to sign up for The KPI Institute’s Certified KPI Professional and Practitioner training course. It will lead you through all the phases of the KPI implementation project plan.
Wishing you the best of performance!
A well-functioning KPI measurement framework is more important then ever. In the fast-changing post-COVID-19 environment, organizations without a well-designed performance management system are not able to collect data-driven and real-time feedback, which is more important than ever because organizations need to make quick decisions as they respond to new challenges.
Organizations with no formal KPI measurement framework in place might consider implementing KPIs, and this process starts with a KPI implementation project plan.
The importance of a KPI implementation project plan
A KPI implementation project plan provides a structure for the implementation of an organization’s performance management system. Once the project plan is set, all types of activities would have a clear deadline and designated responsibilities.
Because a KPI implementation plan lays out all pertinent details, it promotes effective communication among the stakeholders of the project and reduces the impact of the project implementation gaps. Some of these gaps are the lack of buy-in from key stakeholders, unrealistic deliverables, and the inefficient assessment of organizational resources.
A good plan also serves as a compass for employees and other stakeholders in uncertain times because it guides stakeholders/employees towards reaching the strategic objectives of the organization.
Project plan stages
The most common elements of a KPI implementation project plan are key activities, deadline, responsibility, status, and comments.
A KPI implementation project plan must be aligned to the organizational strategy and objectives. Before the implementation starts, a meeting with the stakeholders of the project should be organized to discuss their expectations and make sure that everybody is on the same page. After the plan is developed by the project team in coordination with the project manager, the resource assessment of the project needs to be created. Then, another meeting with all employees is necessary in order to share the vision and benefits of such a project and delineate the first tasks to be finalized.
The second phase is the actual implementation of the performance management system. Start with proper training for the stakeholders to establish a common language and to avoid any misunderstanding. The appropriate KPIs should be selected in a KPI selection workshop. Then, they should be documented using a pre-defined, standardized template. Moreover, the data should be gathered and reported by the data custodians. The report should be presented with good visuals that are easy to interpret. This will help ensure a clear and effective decision-making process.
During the post implementation assessment phase, a performance review meeting should be conducted to gather feedback from internal stakeholders and analyze the situation and the progress of the result. It is also important to evaluate the possible corrective actions to be addressed in the performance management system.
KPI implementation project plan example:
In order to arrive at the benefits of a well-functioning KPI management system, companies need to understand how to efficiently implement it and to ensure that all employees have a clear picture of the whole system.
Find out more about the performance management system implementation process through The KPI Institute’s Certified KPI Professional and Practitioner course.
The value of Big Data has found its way to the core of many organizations. NewVantage Partners’ 2021 executive survey showed that 99.0% of the companies they surveyed are investing in data initiatives while 96.0% attest that Big Data and AI efforts were generating results.
However, working with Big Data is not easy for all companies. The survey revealed that 92.2% of leading companies consider culture (people, process, organization, and change management) as the top reason why becoming a data-driven organization remains challenging.
Organizations should recognize that integrating Big Data into performance management would allow them to further improve their performance , make strategic decisions, and achieve higher efficiency in many areas of business.
How does that happen? First, it is important to know what Big Data is and what it is not.
Big Data is not about having a higher volume of data. IBM defines Big Data as “a way of harvesting raw data from multiple, disparate data sources, storing the data for use by analytics programs, and using the raw data to derive value (meaning) from the data in a whole new way.”
Mayer-Schönberger and Cukier, authors of “Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think,” wrote that Big Data can generate new insights and develop new forms of value in a manner that changes how people live.
The reason is that Big Data can reveal trends and patterns. In an ever-changing business landscape, organizations working with Big Data would allow them to make decisions based on facts. This echoes what Geoffrey Moore, a famous American organizational theorist & author of “Crossing the Chasm,” was quoted saying: “Without big data analytics, companies are blind and deaf, wandering out onto the web like deer on a freeway.”
Big Data’s Role in Performance Management and Measurement
The value of Big Data lies in improving the performance and processes of an organization.
For instance, Big Data can provide insights into customer preferences. Understanding customer preferences and using them as a basis for strategies can lead to increased sales. With better forecasting, Big Data can guide companies in determining where they need to invest. A manufacturing company would be able to accurately identify the equipment that needs replacing. Moreover, the automation of high-level business processes can make organizations more effective and efficient.
In the conference paper, “Is Big Data the Next Big Thing in Performance Measurement Systems?” the authors concluded that the presence of a variety of data could expand the horizons of PMSs due to the application of different kinds of metrics. The applications of Big Data in PMS are in planning, controlling, and improving business performance as well as in strategic planning, controlling operations, and processes improvement.
The authors found the reasons for using Big Data and PMSs similar, and they revolve around decision-making and action-taking. “PMS supports decision-making [by] providing meaningful and appropriate data [developed] through a series of activities, such as analyzing and interpreting data from past actions to influence the future performance.”
Big Data in Action
The success of Netflix, a streaming service company, is attributed to their usage of Big Data. For content development, their objective is to determine what their audience would want to watch next. To analyze the behavior and preferences of their over 140 million subscribers, Netflix used metrics, such as “What day you watch content,” “Searches on the platform,” “User location data,” “When you leave content,” “The ratings given by the users,” and even “Browsing and scrolling behavior.”
Netflix also uses Big Data in addressing challenges in production planning, such as determining shoot locations and arranging a shoot schedule. With prediction models, Netflix can minimize their efforts and reduce their expenses.
Xerox, the world’s largest provider of digital document solutions, once faced a problem with its workforce and needed to cut employee training costs and lower the premature attrition of its employee pool. With the help of Big Data, the company executed a predictive recruiting program in order to assess and filter applicants. Big Data and Big Data analytics helped them recruit people who have more technical skills and are more likely to stay longer with them. This means lower cost of training. The reduced attrition successfully helped the enhancement of Xerox’s bottom line.
Big data is a new source of competitive edge for any organization as it permits them to provide faster and more intelligent decisions, makes information more transparent, generates unprecedented insights into market situations and customer behavior, and optimizes business performance.
If you would like to discover new knowledge and the practical application of best practices used in analyzing statistical data, sign up for The KPI Institute’s Data Analysis Certification.
Organizational processes should be designed in such a way that they effectively enable the strategic implementation of corporate objectives. Successful execution of strategy demands well execution of processes from all perspectives.
Processes that are properly understood and deeply rooted in the organizational realities will produce results that are reliable, easily controlled, and effectively managed. The documentation of processes allows for meticulous work to be conducted in relation to a company’s effort of architecting process frameworks and solutions.
Moreover, process documentation is intended to accurately describe the landscape of a process, the activities included within that landscape, the standardized workflow associated with a particular process, and its current state by comparison with a desired one. Process templates generally reflect on the degree of process documentation within an organization.
“Process templates are created to describe some aspect of a process, a process landscape, process flow, process solution or state. […] Process templates enable the capture and relation of process-centric objects within the same template or across multiple templates, each of which promotes its own view of a process.” (Von Rosing, Von Scheel, & Scheer, 2014, pp. 175-180)
With decomposing processes into KPIs, proper documentation that involves process description and the internal procedures should be in place. Meanwhile, process management tools such as process maps are consulted for a better perspective on the process itself.
The basic process management tools and templates that can be used for an effective process design are the following:
1. Process description: The process description is a template that supports the organization in understanding the functionality of each process in turn. It is vital that the process description concentrates on the purpose of the process as a constituent part of operational activity rather than the steps in the process.
The purpose of the process becomes a focal point around which processes are defined. This is especially important due to the fact that processes around which the company is currently organized may not be the most suitable for strategy. It is not excluded that the process description includes more than one purpose for a process in place.
Purposes can be main or secondary. The main purpose refers to the strategic purpose that the process serves for the organization. Secondary purposes are the ones that are directly tied to the main purpose of the process; however, they have a more functional or operational focus that generally derives from the process steps or activities.
Such a way of working with the process description not only helps to validate the linkage to organizational objectives but also leads to a more accurate distribution of KPIs. This will be measured by levels of organizational performance.
2. Process map: The process map is a process management tool “that shows input-output relationships among process dependent operations and departments and that documents in a step-by-step process sequence the activities that are required to convert inputs to outputs for the specific process.” (Hunt, 1996, pp. 8-10)
A process map provides an illustration of organizational processes as well as the interactions between the main process steps. A process map is especially important as it helps identify the main inputs stepping into the process and the main outputs stepping out of the process, while reflecting on the “as is” or” current state” of the process itself.
One of the most important roles of the process map is it helps identify bottlenecks in the process or waste that needs to be eliminated in order for the company to achieve process optimization.
3. Internal procedures: Internal procedures are a necessary tool in breaking down processes into KPIs and process optimization thereon forward. They also deliver a standardized template for capturing specific process information.
Internal procedures provide a more detailed view of how processes are conducted for the organization as well as the Service Level Agreements instituted as part of the interactions with other processes in the organization.
Internal procedures also provide a set of detailed steps on how to perform process tasks, which significantly aid process performance measurement through KPIs.
Those basic process management tools and templates provide a simple and cost-effective solution to breaking down processes into KPIs. If used effectively, they can deliver tremendous benefits, such as preservation of process knowledge, documentary evidence of process understanding, a framework for process performance measurement, and overall improvement of business processes over time.
Discover more about KPIs and how to develop a structured approach to measuring performance by signing up for The KPI Institute’s Certified KPI Professional and Practitioner course.
Working in a team can create synergy, since a good team will likely produce better results than individuals working separately. However, measuring team performance is even more challenging than measuring the performance of each employee separately, since you have to take into consideration each and every member’s performance, in relation to the others’, as well as the overall team’s.
In general, employees are members of departments. A department is a subdivision of an organization and an individual, generally, can only be part of one department. That being said, nowadays, teams are more flexible in how they are formed and how they operate: a team can be a temporary group formed to work on a specific task or project. Therefore, employees can be members of only one department, but several teams.
The first step is to link the team results to the organization’s goals, by cascading the objectives and KPIs from the organizational level to the team level. It is not very productive to have a well-performing team whose work does not help the organization reach higher performance goals.
Key aspects of team performance measurement
There are many indicators and measurements that can be useful when considering measuring your team’s results. In what follows, we’ve put together a list of the most widely employed benchmarks, so that you may get a general feel for what is considered useful to keep track of.
Employee attendance: Employee attendance is an important aspect of team performance since absenteeism incurs excess costs and will have an unwanted effect on team productivity & employee morale.
Moreover, late employees can be the source of annoyance or frustration, which will reduce team cohesion and further reduce a working unit’s effectiveness. Therefore, attendance related KPIs should be the first ones to track, when we talk about team performance:
- % Absenteeism: Indicates the percentage of employees within the team who are repeatedly and/or unexpectedly absent, out of the total team members.
- $ Lost time accounting: Measures the potential revenue lost because of idle workers or wasted hours within the team.
- # Time lost by starting work late: Measures the volume of time lost due to employees starting their working hours late.
Client satisfaction: Every team has an internal/external customer, which is why satisfaction can be a good measurement unit. Improving customer satisfaction will eventually result in a more efficient production process, better service and ultimately, lead to more satisfied external customers. The most important KPI to measure in this regard is the following:
- % Customer satisfaction: Measures the level of satisfaction exhibited by the team’s customers (current employees, distributors, vendors, departments, or external clients), towards the inter-functional services provided, be it communication, productivity and/or responsiveness.
Employee retention within the team: A low retention level or a high turnover level is usually connected with low levels of efficiency and productivity, which in the end can lead to a negative impact on an organization’s overall results.
This aspect can be influenced not just by the team performance, but also by the HR department’s performance, the working environment and work policies, the supervisor, as well as the promotion and professional development opportunities for the future. However, high level of employee turnover within a specific team could indicate team-related problems.
The most important employee retention KPIs to measure are the following:
- % Employee turnover: Measures the rate at which employees leave the team in a given time period (e.g., month, quarter, year).
- % Employee retention rate: Measures the total number of employees retained at the end of the reporting period, expressed as a percentage from the total number of employees that were in the team at the start.
Employee satisfaction: Studies suggest a direct correlation between employee satisfaction, employee engagement and increased performance. Employee engagement can be increased through various company efforts, such as facilitating the development of skills for its employees, giving them a sense of trust and integrity, and clarifying their opportunities for future career development. The most important indicators to take into consideration, when looking to improve or maintain employee satisfaction, are the following:
- % Employee satisfaction: Measures the employees’ satisfaction and motivation level, with aspects regarding their job and working environment: job responsibilities, team and management, workplace, and professional development.
- # Employee Engagement Index: Measures the engagement level of employees in their work activities and responsibilities, in terms of enthusiasm, commitment and discretionary effort.
Productivity of individuals: Productivity of individuals is a key element of team performance. The following KPIs help measure a team’s contribution to the organizational goals, and the contribution of its members to the general team results:
- $ Profit per employee: Measures the team’s contribution to the overall profit pool. It is a particularly important ratio in customer-focused businesses, such as those in the service sector.
- $ Sales per employee: Measures a team member’s productivity and efficiency in generating sales.
- % Human Capital Return on Investment (ROI): Measures the return on investing in a team’s human capital, after adjusting for the cost of financial capital.
- $ Human capital value added: Measures the value added through productive activities, by a team’s members. Reflects the adjusted operating profitability figure, calculated by subtracting all expenses except for labor expenses, from revenue, and dividing the adjusted profit figure by the total headcount.
OKRs or KPIs?
In some specific cases, where the productivity of a team is not directly linked to the organizational revenue or profit (ex. support teams), it is more advisable to use OKRs (Objectives and Key Results), instead of KPIs (Key performance indicators), to measure productivity.
OKRs contain a well-defined objective and one or more key results. OKRs help define how to achieve a goal through concrete, measurable actions. So, in case of the support teams, these results should be measured to track team performance, as they will be able to paint a more accurate picture of their efforts.
It is a complex process to measure team performance; therefore, it should be analyzed from numerous angles, according to each team’s specialization and workload. It should be noted that the aforementioned indicators are not the only ones which can portray a group’s results. However, if you are looking for a quick introduction into this topic, these KPIs will serve as a sustainable foundation on which you can build your employee management system.
Find out more about the team and employee performance measurement from our Certified Employee Performance Management course or learn more about the OKRs from our Certified OKR Professional course.