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Mission Critical: Soft KPIs And How To Create Them

Michael Taplin discusses the setting and measurement of “soft” KPIs by using the real-world example of an auto component repair service and their customer (repair firms dealing with consumers and their insurers). In the example, there are constant complaints about delivery date and time. This problem was resolved by identifying the real problem (work being performed by receipt date and not complexity), and then implementing a general 48 hour turnaround for 85% of jobs received. Complaints dropped to zero within 4 weeks of launching. Therein lies the use of “soft” KPIs: the company was able to create a KPI based on expected outcome, and use it in order to facilitate better customer service: Soft KPIs offer huge value to your management process so you should never ignore their existence. It is just that the differences between soft and hard KPIs mean you need a different approach to the way you develop them and the way you use them. If you follow the tips and the thinking process illustrated in the story you will be on the right track to identify your soft KPIs and put them to work. Hard KPIs are easy to work with because they have one unchanging characteristic; they are mathematically linked to measurable changes in performance of the business. The article goes on to discuss how to set up soft KPIs, following the following criteria: a clear correlation with a related hard KPI, a metric that enables performance tracking, clear links to driver KPIs, estimation of threshold, and ability to determine if it is mission critical.

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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One comment

  1. In project management, some important soft KPIs for teamwork are goal-alignment, adaptability and learning. And for project sponsorship, KPI of leadership is important too. How if at all can these be measured and used as KPIs I wonder? Over to you please.

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