What Is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI)? Definition, Resources, and 1000+ Examples
“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” — Zig Ziglar
When the cost of managing and measuring your performance is less than the tragic risk of hitting nothing, it pays to get your KPIs right.
KPIs, or key performance indicators, can prove that success is a result of not just one huge undertaking but a series of actions. These actions are taken by decision-makers that consistently rely on data rather than guesswork.
In this guide, you will learn the basics and benefits of KPIs and beyond. Explore the top articles, webinars, reports, and other materials produced by The KPI Institute, a leading global research institute specializing in business performance and KPI research for over 17 years.
- What Is a Key Performance Indicator?
- Why Companies Should Use KPIs
- KPI Examples
- Applying the KPI Best Practices
- The KPI Measurement Framework
What Is a Key Performance Indicator?
The definition of a KPI, according to The KPI Institute, is “a measurable expression for the achievement of a desired level of results in an area relevant to the evaluated entity’s activity.”
“If a decision support system is put in place, users need the right data granularity and the guidelines or context for making the right decisions. All of these reasons have an underlying story, and top-performing organizations are able to clearly communicate that story to their employees.”
“As performance management & measurement is shaping up as a fundamental capability for organizations across the globe, there are still multiple challenges to be overcome.”
Why Companies Should Use KPIsTop Six Reasons to Start Using Key Performance Indicators
“Nowadays, the challenge is not about accessing information, as most companies are managing large volumes of data. The challenge is to decide which data is the most important for decision making.”
“What have been some of the changes that the Performance Management field has experienced over time? What are some one-size-fits-all style KPIs that any company can employ?”
Discover the role of KPIs in designing a rigorous Performance Management System (PMS) to ensure an optimized implementation across all organizational levels.
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- [Download] The Top 25 Project Management KPIs – 2020 Extended Edition
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Applying the KPI Best Practices
Compare KPIs and other performance evaluation criteria, identify the common KPI pitfalls, and discover how to use KPIs to create synergies between departments.
“In many cases, the key performance indicators (KPIs) monitored do not seem relevant as they are not connected to the strategy. To better understand how this problem can be addressed, we must first identify its possible causes.”
“What are the most important guidelines to follow when selecting KPIs for strategic objectives? What are the most efficient KPI Selection techniques, most recommended KPI selection environments, and some Value Flow Analysis technique examples?”
The KPI Measurement Framework
“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.”
“When formalizing and implementing a performance management system (PMS) based on key performance indicators (KPIs), there are multiple activities to be considered and many stakeholders to be engaged in the process. Therefore, you’ll need a project plan to make performance management an ongoing process within your organization.”
“An important component of performance measurement is represented by the data collection capability. However, when applied in the organizational context, this process is neither easy nor lacking obstacles, as practitioners often discover.”
“Learn how KPI selection techniques can be implemented in practice and gain insights into the best practices for selecting KPIs.”
“KPI selection is a process which seems simple, yet is inherently complex, due to the interdependencies involved. Here are 15 things to consider before embarking on this journey.”
“Just reporting performance data will not ensure the improvement of results. Improvement is only possible when decisions are made based on the insights provided by data.”
KPIs are not just about understanding and working with numbers. Using KPIs requires stakeholders to fulfill a vision and commit to ensuring success across all levels of their organization. If you would like to learn how to select the right KPIs for your organization, sign up for The KPI Institute’s Certified KPI Professional and Practitioner live online course today.