Measuring corporate performance

Last Updated: Thursday, March 31, 2011 by Eleanor Alner

Business performance measurement is or can be a complex area in which to get involved.  You need to decide what you are going to measure and what the benefits are for your organisation in doing so.  Buy in from your colleagues and staff is essential.  They need to fully understand why you are putting all this measurement in place.  In my experience, staff can become very defensive about their job when they learn that their work is going to be measured.  Your reasons for measurement need to inclusive, strong and timely.  Encourage ownership and pride in your organisation’s KPIs.

Start by asking yourself, “What do I need to know in order to make good decisions for my organisation?”  The answer to that will be a list of things, eg. Sales per month, sales per employee, total invoicing per month, total sales per regional area, attendance and so on.  Many of us have come across the acronym SMART in relation to our personal performance objectives.  Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely.  The same 5 descriptions can, and must, be applied to your organisation’s KPIs.

Next you need to make sure that you have rigorous processes in place to ensure that each week, month or other measuring interval the correct data is input on time. 

Without wishing to be the voice of doom, if you don’t have SMART KPIs then there is every chance that no-one will use them.  It will be also be harder to get buy in from your colleagues if there is no clear link between the KPIs and your organisation’s goals and objectives.  Finally, where you have an intangible, qualitative goal, eg improving the customer experience, you need to come up with a relevant measure that will enable you to determine whether or not the goal has been met.

In summary, think SMART and encourage your colleagues to do the same.